You are Extraordinary

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Dear Friend,

There is no one in the world who is exactly like you. You have so much beauty and purpose to bring to the world. Don’t ever let yourself feel like you’re insignificant or expendable because of someone else’s actions. Easy words to say, perhaps (maybe they aren’t easy for some of us to say about ourselves). You know what’s really tricky? Not letting yourself feel insignificant because of your own thoughts and actions.

It’s funny, I started writing this letter a couple weeks ago and meant to post it last Sunday, but forgot (sorry about that! My first missed Sunday). As it turns out, though, this letter I write to you is the lesson (I only realised yesterday) that I needed for myself. So I say these words to you, and hope that they sink into my subconscious.

I feel a little like Viola Davis’ character in The Help when she talks to the little girl. But you are special, you are smart, and you are important and I want you to always remember that. When people compliment you, what do you do? Do you say thank you but? “Aww thanks, but it’s only because…” If yes, stop doing that. Aim to only say “Thank you” (with a smile would be even better). For me, I’d mastered that phase, but the back talk was still going on in my head. I would smile and say a big thank you and then in my head doubt whether or not they meant it, or question why they said it, or wonder if they’d have said it if some other thing was true (there was always something).

Are you anything like me? Let’s try replacing our back chatter, or our “little hater” as Jay Smooth says (he even made a song about it, which I love, check it out), with things like “Damn right” or “I’m so glad you notice.”

That’s my goal from here on out and my challenge to you, because you deserve to feel as extraordinary as you already are!

 

All my love,

Angel xo

 

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You Might As Well Go For It -or- Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

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Dear Friend,

I wonder, have you ever opted out of something for fear of failure or embarrassment? Have you ever chosen to take no action on something you love/want to try/believe in because you don’t believe it will make a difference? I know I have, several times. I have had a HUGE fear of failure. Mostly because, for me, failure is embarrassing. And I hate to be embarrassed. Being embarrassed means being vulnerable and, at the centre of it all, this is what I hate the most -being vulnerable.

Anyway, I wanted to ask, because if you’re anything like me (at least in this regard) then it’s something you struggle with or are working on. Going for it even through the fear isn’t easy, but what’s the alternative? Playing it safe by doing something you don’t want to do?

You’ve seen the clip floating around of Jim Carrey giving a speech at a graduation ceremony. He talked about how his dad wanted to be Comedian, but played it safe to provide for his family. He ended up being laid off and struggling to find new work. Jim said in his speech his lesson from that was “you can fail at what you DON’T want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love!” (check out the clip here)

That has stuck with me better than anything else when it comes to my fear of failure. I’d thought that if I played it safe, then I wouldn’t be doing what I loved, but at least I’d be able to pay the rent. Haha not so! When you see that failure may come regardless of what you choose to do, it becomes much more obvious what choices to make.

I hope that made sense. But if we reframe our fears of failure and see that we can “fail” at anything, but we can also succeed immensely, then it’s easier to make the choice to do what we love.

Here’s hoping that you go forward and do what you love. Give it your best effort, even through the fear.

All my love,
Angel xo

 

If this is your work, please contact me so I can credit you!

If this is your work, please contact me so I can credit you!

Everything is Working Out for Your Highest Good

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Dear Friend,

Today marks the 3-month anniversary of me writing letters to you! Isn’t that great?! Last week I talked about looking back to recognise how far you’ve come. Today I’m going to talk about myself a lot (sorry in advance!). I’ve been doing a lot of looking back lately. And I know I have to be careful not to miss what’s ahead of me and where I am right now. But I spent all night last night remembering, specifically the year I spent in South Korea. I was there from August 2010 until August 2011 and I had a blog that I posted in periodically about what was happening to me there. I re-read that blog, reliving some of the experiences I wrote about. I also looked at my FB status updates during that time. I can honestly say I have changed a lot since then. Wow.

I am more comfortable expressing my love for others, like friends and family. I am more cognisant now of when people are being genuinely friendly and helpful. It’s easier for me to pause in the moment and reflect rather than exploding and regretting it after. On the flip side, I’m better at grabbing opportunities and asking questions when they come to me rather than hesitating and regretting THAT later. I don’t get as easily frustrated and when I do get frustrated, I handle it so much better than I used to. I contemplate more. I consciously engage in being positive and uplifting. I’m better at validating myself, without needing others to do it for me (and then being upset when they don’t). I’m better at giving without needing reciprocation (better but not great).

It sounds like I’m doing pretty amazingly, and I am proud of myself. However, I honestly believe I would not have gotten here if it hadn’t been for that year in Korea. It was a very difficult time for me, in many ways that I found it difficult to explain to others. Even when my parents visited me, my attitude didn’t change. I was expecting them to come cheer me up and they were expecting me to host them and be cheerful all on my own. Naturally, the ensuing result was a disaster, but we got some good pictures out of it and I’m still glad they made the trip. I just wish I’d been in a better frame of mind. Even so, all those difficult experiences, all the frustration and depression, led me to make a change in myself. My attitude and outlook, I now know, are the only things I can change 100% of the time. When I did make that change, my experience in Korea changed. And now, I feel like a better person.

As difficult as all those experiences were, they made me better. So I’m not grateful in spite of the challenges I faced. I’m grateful for those challenges. How else do we grow?

I hope, that as you go through your days, weeks, months, and years, that you are able to find ways to be grateful for it all, rather than in spite of it all. I hope you can affirm for yourself that everything happens for your highest good. To make you your own version of better.

 

All my love,

Angel xo

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September 2010. My first month in South Korea.

Take a Look Back Today

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Dear Friend,

You know that feeling you get when you aren’t sure of what you’re doing… Or you feel you aren’t doing anything useful with your life?

Take a look back. Look at how far you’ve already come. YOU did that! You may have gotten help, but help is nothing if you don’t use it.

Today let’s just pause and take a look back. Look at what we’ve accomplished. Look at all the damaging behaviours, people, and self talk we’ve left behind. Look at the wonderful connections we’ve made. Look at what we’ve learned and how we’ve improved.

You’re doing fine. No, better than fine. You’re doing great! Take a moment to just revel in that before you go back to thinking about today and tomorrow. Celebrate who you are and what you’ve done and where you’ve been and how you’ve grown.

It’s all amazing. And so are you.

All my love,
Angel xo

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All the Answers are Within You

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Dear Friend,

How much do you trust other people? Now how much do you trust yourself? Difficult questions, perhaps. Here’s an easier one. Have you ever been in a situation where you had a hard time making a choice because you were afraid of making the wrong one? What did you do about that? Ask for advice? Research your question on Google? (We’ve all done this I’m sure) Or maybe you opted to do nothing in lieu of taking action (which is still a decision). It can be rough but I received a message some time ago that helps me a lot. Maybe it’ll help you?

All the answers are within me.

I have a tendency to get input from friends, family, sometimes even strangers, when I have a tough choice to make. It’s useful for me to hear multiple points of view. But at the end of the day, I know that only I can make the call. It is my life, and so it is my responsibility. When I first learned of this … idea that all the answers are within me, I had a hard time accepting that. How could the answers be in me? If they are, then why do I feel so uncertain and scared? True to this adage, as I thought about it more and more, the answer presented itself. I would feel uncertain and scared, because I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t give myself any credit that I had any sort of wisdom of my own. As a mid-20-something-year-old, I just assumed that I was too young to know anything significant about life. But thinking about it, it makes so much sense! Who knows you better than you? Even your parents, who may have been around from the beginning and never left, aren’t around you all the time. And as we get older, we begin to lead our own lives without them. And when that happens, we change. We are experts on ourselves, so why wouldn’t we have answers within us?

The next issue, for me anyway, was the “all” part. Surely I don’t have all the answers for everything? The way I see it now, no not everything everywhere for everyone every time. However, everything that matters to me and concerns me and my well being? YES. When I sit, and am still and centred, I always know what decision would leave me feeling the most at peace, or the most fulfilled.

You know you better than anyone, and when you give yourself the time, I truly believe you’ll find that all the answers you need for you are already right there within you. Give yourself some credit!

 

All my love,

Angel xo

If this is your artwork, please let me know so I can credit you! =)

If this is your artwork, please let me know so I can credit you! =)

Forgive everyone, including yourself

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Dear Friend,

How are you? I hope you are well. I’d love to hear how things are going with you. As for me, I’m pleased to say I’m really working on experiencing life as a joyous dance. And because of this, my low days don’t seem so low. It puts everything into a more peaceful perspective. Something else that’s really cool is when I see that I have a chance to really put one of my affirmations into practice. Sometimes these chances come and go without me realising it. The one I got to consciously put into practice recently was, “I forgive everyone, including myself.”

For some time now I’ve agreed with the adage that forgiving is more for you than the other person. That it releases you from whatever hurt and hate you may be holding on to, and that it isn’t about absolving the other person of whatever they may have done that hurt you. But the concept of forgiving everyone was a little crazy to me when I first read it. Everyone?! But again, if forgiveness is more for me than the other person, then yes. Everyone. It makes sense.

The really revolutionary part of it for me, however, was the idea of forgiving myself. Whoa. I’d been so used to judging myself harshly that even with the other affirmations I’d been working on, this didn’t click intuitively. I had to read it to really see how necessary it is. And if I’m forgiving everyone then that should include me, right? Right.

So for you, as you work on being your highest self, realise that sometimes you will act less than satisfactorily by your own standards. And in those moments (if you catch yourself), or after those moments (if you don’t), forgive yourself. Know that change is a process and it isn’t always easy and that’s perfectly fine. Forgive yourself. Release your disappointment in yourself. And keep dancing.

 

All my love,

Angel xo

 

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Everyone is Always Helpful

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Dear Friend,

When I was younger I used to expect the worst. No matter where I was, my mind would take me to the most horrifying/embarrassing possibilities it could. I don’t know why this happened. It still does sometimes. Then I read somewhere about how our thoughts are not as intangible as I, well, thought. They become energy, or vibrations, that radiate from us all the time and they affect the kind of energy/vibrations we get back.

Any time I needed to ask someone for help, I assumed they’d say no, so I began by being on the defensive and, more often than not, they’d say no. How could I be surprised? I was never surprised that they said no, or that embarrassing things happened, because of course I expected it. Deep in my spirit, I believed the world was an unfair place and that everyone was out to get everyone, especially me.

This simple affirmation that I learned – everyone is always helpful – is the basis for every other self-work I do. It’s how I started my journey: by changing how I viewed the world. When you think about it, that’s a massive undertaking, changing your world-views. Which do you tend to believe? That everyone is out to get you or that everyone is always helpful? Whichever it is, are you happy with things as they are?

Just some things to think on.

 

All my love,

Angel xo

 

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If this is your image, please let me know so I can credit you!