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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over ____--that our lives had become unmanageable.

I did my first step last October.

... Or so I had thought.

Lately the Universe/my HP has done an incredible job of slapping in my face just how much control I do not have over this world. I make a plan for something and it results in something else entirely. I don't mind that, of course, usually it is working out for the best. But honestly, I have been really struggling with the fact that I don't have all the answers.

I presume that I am typing this WEEKS before I will probably post it-because things in this blog will be news to some of you, and I don't want to make an announcement like that over a blog, I would rather tell you in a more personal way (like a Facebook status ;) ). But in all seriousness, I know that I have said some things that may make people disappointed while reading this blog, but this life is not about you. It's not really about me either... It is about living.

For 10 years... (that's a decade... 40% of my lifetime) I have been wanting nothing more than to return "home" to Colorado. I was arguably blind to all other options, throughout that time, because all I ever wanted was to return to the life I loved.

10 years ago I was 15 years old, my family had barely started to fall apart, my best friends were simply obvious to me (Kathy, Rachael, Jeanie, Kelly, Aimee, Whitney and Jenn) ... people I loved through and through and could NEVER imagine not being close to, Music was my LIFE and I was moving up in the choirs at school, I was in advanced level courses (in HS) and making decent grades at that, I was comfortable (at least partially) and happy (sometimes) and when I moved to Rapid city I thought my life was over.

The first moments I walked into RC Central HS I wanted to run back out kicking and screaming. I went from a happy and delightful high school to a place that felt more like a prison. My teachers doubted my limits and I certainly doubted theirs. My only escape was choir and, let's be honest, no one there really liked me either. It wasn't their fault, though, because I never really gave them a chance to. Every time I met someone I would say "Yeah I am only here until i graduate then I will go to school back in Colorado" It's a wonder they thought I felt like I was above them.

I skipped a grade because it was just TOO much for me to bear any longer. Hopped hard and fast into USD. This was only temporary, too, because as soon as I graduated I was packing my bags and getting back to CO. Every time I met someone I said "I went to HS in Rapid but I am FROM Colorado." I even remember meeting my to be best friend Tove and saying "Wow, I would never guess you are from SD, you are so kind and open minded!" I thought I was giving her a compliment-now I see that it was really more of an insult.

I hate to say it, but I have always looked down on South Dakota. I didn't like the reason I came here in the first place, but I came because it was what my mom wanted, and because I wanted to escape the feeling of losing my dad. I wanted so badly to change everything. I got "control" and met my now ex husband. Forced a marriage out of all of that and thank god that is over.

Made my way through college at Augie (my the skin of my teeth mostly) and finally graduated. I am certain my professor would be a millionaire if she had 100 bucks for each time I have said "Well, this is it, I am going back home to Colorado now." If she is reading this, she has got to be shaking her head and laughing... I never gave her a chance either. Sorry for that, you deserved a lot more from me.

No one really got the best of me because I have been reserving that for the better more deserving people in Colorado... what a jerk. This all, unfortunately, only came to me just recently. I got an amazing opportunity to stay here. Once again I had a BIG HUGE foot out the door ready to run to the mountains, and then... BAM the Universe said "Manda, seriously, we have to do this AGAIN!?"

Maybe, this town really isn't that bad. ;) Maybe, actually, this town is exactly what I need. The kind-hearted sweet and friendly people of Sioux falls. The ones who say hello, and goodbye, every time you go in any store. The people who wave to you on the side of the road. The people who's kids have never known a stranger because it takes a village to raise a child, and this village loves it's families and children. I have avoided calling Sioux Falls my home, even though I have lived here longer than I have lived in any town in my entire life. That's a BIG pill to swallow. And if I include Vermilion it has been almost 8 years... that's a really long time. Even without Vermtown it's been 6 years almost straight through.

The best part is, everyone has been so forgiving. Everyone in Sioux Falls who I have met and planted my "Colorado is better" seed on have just nodded and smiled like they knew the ultimate truth, that I would fall in love with this place, and the people, and I would stay. I would raise my family here because it is safe, and secure, and a great community. I will take my trips to Colorado, and Kentucky, and other great places to visit, but always return to the place that has always been the best home to me, Sioux Falls.

There was even a conversation with another educator/colleague of mine... she told me that she had a foot out the door until she met her husband... and the rest is history, she stayed here. I told her flat out "That won't happen to me. There is no man worth staying here for." ... I am not staying here FOR Ben, he will be here too though of course. I am staying here because Sioux Falls is home.

When I told my mom about the opportunity and that it would keep me from Colorado and I just can't figure out why this keeps happening every time I get a bit closer. Her response? "I know why." ... so I inquired as to why... "Colorado is not the place you left 10 years ago. You were younger, your friends were different people, your family was mostly all you knew of the world. The population was smaller, and since then there have been 10 years between where you have changed, they have changed, and the world around you has changed. When you go back to visit is the best of all worlds because people take time to see you, but you can never move back to the way things were, it is better to just accept life as it is and move forward Do what is best for you and your family, and be happy."

There are things I would change about Sioux Falls. But then again, there are things I would change about the world, and the country. But if I would change them, then why have I not made the effort to do so? because I am too afraid to get involved and then move. I have moved 24 times in my life. (this includes to and from college) I was a part of 6 different graduating classes, before I actually graduated from High School. I got scared to get close to anyone, for fear of losing them. I got scared to get involved in anything, for fear of having to cut my roots, again, and replant. I was afraid to be comfortable, because if I got comfortable something would surely come along and change it. I am the girl without a home-but this is by my own choice.

So to take this 1400 word blog and turn it all into a short story...

I am done.

I am done running. I am done planning (Shocking I know) I am done.

I waste too much energy in trying to have control of my life, and the outcomes--and I get so tired from it. I am tired of pushing for something that obviously is not supposed to happen.

"If you want something, it is your job to ask for it. The Universe will work out the HOW but any time you spend toward the HOW is time you will not have with the thing you asked for. It is not your job to figure out HOW to get what you want, it is your job to know what you want, and ask for it. Let the Universe do the rest." (the Daily Secret)

I am happy and grateful to have such a kind and wonderful and loving group of people who love me.
I am happy and grateful that I am coming to peace with who I am.
I am happy and grateful for my ever going recovery.
I am happy and grateful to have found a truly loving and compassionate partner to share my life with.
I am happy and grateful to have all I need and more, financially, and otherwise in my life.
I am happy and grateful that I have a place to call home.

Thank you Sioux falls for loving me even when I refused to love you back.

I give up. I surrender. I am all yours.

Now it is time to live. I want to help the interpreting community of Sioux Falls grow and flourish. I want to help SDIA become the best that it can be, and be a place for people to go when they truly need encouragement and growth in the industry.
I want to sing again damn it! I am joining a choir!
I want to be more active in the program at Augustana. To show my support to the future alumni of my Alma mater.
I want to take trips to all the places I want to visit in the world, but have a place to come home to.
I want to have kittens! :)

I promise to not put you down anymore Sioux Falls. I promise to love you as much as I have loved Colorado all of these years. I am cutting the chord. Colorado is officially the place I was raised, Sioux Falls is the place I call home.

To those of you who are hurt by this decision. I LOVE YOU ALL. I am so sorry that I got any one's hopes up through my ebbs and flows of what I am doing. I get excited about something and get very narrow minded and stubborn. I am hard headed when it comes to my plans, and very determined. Just know that my determination was just proof of how much I love you all. I promise I will visit as often as we can. We really are not that far away from each other, after all. I hope you come and visit me too, Sioux Falls is really quite a lovely place.

For the people of Sioux Falls who I may have avoided getting to know a little better. I promise to make a more concerted effort to spend time with you. I will attend your events with an open heart filled with love for you, without the resounding fear of loss.

Thanks for reading this incredibly long post.

Lastly I want to share with you the reason it is titled what it is.  Because I finally admitted "I am powerless, my life has become unmanageable"-at least by my standards. The only person who has any control over all of this is my HP and so I release my life to your loving hands. Please treat it with care, as I know you will, since you are LOVE and LOVE is you... and Love is the best thing we can possibly share.

Thanks for sharing the love.

Love always,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nothing Feels as Good as Losing Your Pants

Or as my English friends would say "trousers"

I love losing my trousers--even in the most embarrassing of situations, it is a good thing.

I am not sure if I have shrunk... If I looked in the mirror with my own eyes I would say I have not, but my eyes tend to deceive me, as we have discussed. Maybe if I looked in the mirror with someone else's eyes I would look fantastic... so we will go with that one.

The pants I am wearing are those Goucho pants... I got them from a girl friend of mine who has also lost a crap ton of weight being primal... she is the one who introduced me to this amazing way of eating. The pants have never been TIGHT on me by any means... they are a large... But... today I cant hardly walk 3 feet without them sliding off of my hips... What a GREAT feeling... So much better than standing on a scale to read a number that means nothing...

In other news-I cheated a bit today... for about 2 and a half minutes... and then realized what I was eating and thought "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING?" and then threw it away... it was fine... No biggy.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Manda's Musings: (short) Ramblings on about Passion

I am an overly passionate person, if such a thing exists. I have a lot of love to give to anything and everything I can get my hands on, and the same goes for people. I don't typically give 10% to things, unless I am scared to give more due to fear of failure or lack of perfection.

Having this passion I tend to want to be excellent at everything. I put my all into one basket and then when that doesn't work out for me I get confused as to why I am so exhausted and have so little to show for it.

I think my longest running passion, other than living and loving, is music. Since I can remember I have loved to sing... I HAVE ADORED it... I remember the day I decided I was not going to be in choir anymore, that it was time to focus my energies on my newer passion and future career of interpreting. I am glad I focused so much on it because it takes a lot of work, and school wasn't easy, but since then my passion for music has been waiting on the back burner starting to boil, unbeknownst to me.

Along with music my second longest running passion is writing. I absolutely love to express myself with words, and throughout the years I found a way to say things eloquently. I have often been complimented on the way I am able to present something via the written word, although I am not aspiring at all to be a writer (too many of my friends are and I encourage and support ALL of you, it's just not for me) I do adore putting the pen to a pad or journal and getting my thoughts out there. Many of my connections with the universe and my own experiences have come fluidly through this medium and I feel like I have left it burning too, a lot like my music.

Interpreting is amazing. I am so grateful it found me and I was lead to such a beautiful and rewarding career. I feel that every day not only am I providing a customer service to a variety of people, but I am also helping myself improve as a person by learning all the magnificent things I get to see and hear on my calls. My skills develop constantly and my appreciation for the work and my colleagues is unending. I am so grateful to have found a career that speaks to me so clearly, and that I can be passionate about without having to dedicate every waking minute to it.

My newest passion is helping aspiring interpreters and the interpreting community around me. I haven't really figured out where to go to start with it, but I promise I won't leave it set, I will be sure to be there for the incoming interpreters as well as my colleagues, to provide at least a smile and a hug when needed.

I could go on with the things I am passionate about. Family, friends, love, health, music, writing, art, colors, flowers, animals, travel, culture, theater, reading, cooking, teaching, learning, etc etc... They are unending really. The thing is ... I feel like I am coming to a time in my life where things aren't temporary anymore...

For the last 10 years of my life every address I have lived at has had an expiration date from day one. Even before that I always knew as a kid it was just a matter of time before my parents would move. I love moving, I love change, but I feel like the winds of change are dying down in my life. I feel like it is time to get serious again. I feel like it is time to pull those passions off the back burner and hope they still taste good.

As far as my writing is concerned, I have always kind of considered my blogging "good enough" ... I haven't dropped a line of poetry in well over 6 months and most of my blogging is fairly superficial. As much as you all love me and care for my life and well being, you are kind people and would appreciate anything I write. I just am not sure that what I am writing here is fulfilling the desires I have as a writer... Something I would like to think about/work on.

Music is incredible and I still am head over heals in love with it. I hear a song and get it stuck in my head and spend days re writing it and singing it in different ways... I miss singing. I have let myself really decline in regards to my music. I don't feel as confident even with Karaoke, even with some of the nice things people have said. It was hard to go from being one of the top singers in my choir to being in a college of musicians. They always warn you of that. I took a 9 month hiatus from music at all after that, I couldn't hardly stand to hear music, luckily that ended. Then I auditioned for a choir in my new college and when I didn't make it in the one I had expected, I chose to call it a sign that I needed to focus on interpreting.

The other day I was spending time with a girl friend of mine. She and I were in choir together all through high school and part of college. She is about to leave for India to go teach music and it is her whole life. I am glad it is not my whole life, but I have to admit when she said "Lady, why the heck aren't you in any choirs?" I felt a ping in my heart. I miss it. I miss using my voice to soothe my soul. I miss contorting my instrument to create new and different sounds and I miss harmonizing. I miss getting really close to the note of my peer where it is verging on uncomfortable but makes a sound like melting butter... I MISS THAT. I need a choir.

Lastly, I suppose... since this was supposed to be a short post and all, is my passion for health. This is my newest passion. It is still relatively green and something I am terrified of failing at. Not just because I know I have NO prior knowledge or experience in healthy nutrition and exercise (I literally looked for ways to get out of gym class people), but also because if I fail it is on me. If I choose to not get serious about this passion and give it my all, then I am the one who suffers (And my children and family). Health is SO IMPORTANT! I only have one life, I only have one body, I must ask myself daily what can I do that is best for my future and my body?

I love the primal and paleo ways of eating. I connect with them obviously. I love some of the more recent posts about embracing the concept of the way of eating and even the lifestyle but not becoming an elitist... As you well know I have a thing about elitists... Cliques and groups haven't always been good to me, so I choose to avoid them. The other thing, in regards to health, that I got passionate about was CrossFit. I loved how I felt when I would lift even just the 35lb bar over my head or push through a 500m row... just because it is something I haven't done before. My fear of failure is keeping me from going back. My fear of not measuring up, not doing things perfectly, and being a disappointment to myself and others is keeping me on the couch instead of in the box. This is something else I want to change. I dont' blame myself or beat myself up for this, I know it is just a character defect of mine, but this is a new passion and I have to realize that I am not going to be GREAT at everything off the bat. I need to value the skills I have.

So, in true 'Manda fashion, I have taken a supposed to be short posed and turned it into a properly long one. But that is who I am, that is who you love... And for some of you-that is what you love about me. I love that about me... I find it endearing that I can find plenty of words for several various subjects. I just hope I am not one to ramble too often on things I know nothing about.

If you have made it this far, thanks for reading. Either way this post was good therapy for me.

Have a beautiful and blessed day,

Friday, May 18, 2012

'Manda's Musings-The Next Step to a Beautiful Me

I wish I could show you, When you are lonely or in darkness, The astonishing light of your own being. ~Hafiz

I think... I am done with spending all my time telling people they are wrong about me.

I think that I have spent too much time trying to be my own version of humble... that I have lost good time in loving myself to the fullest.

I think that I have established new goals for myself... in relation to this beautiful quote.

I kind of stumbled upon a fellow Paleo Eating Disordered Blogger-Paleo Pepper. She has an astonishing outlook on life... and she is motivated to change the way women think of themselves... and I have decided to help her. How do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time? How do you change woman's self esteem? ONE WOMAN AT A TIME! :)

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not.  ~Dr. Seuss
Pepper helped me realize how important I really am. She reminded me that even though it seems I haven't done much (at least to me) I have made huge strides in my health and in my future. I have nothing to do but be grateful for how far I have come. I can not expect to feel better about myself, if I don't start feeling better about myself. I can't beat myself up for making mistakes, what I can do, though, is laugh them off and keep going.

Now it is time for me to stop being so "humble" and start getting real. I am gorgeous. I have a beautiful soul. I have an incredible body. I have a lot of strength; Physical, emotional and spiritual. I am supportive and loving of all people around me. I am fun to be around. I am a hard worker, and I give back to my community and anywhere I can. I am creative, smart, inventive, talented, energetic, and kind.

The list is longer than this, but I don't have all the time in the world. I am mostly repeating what others have said about me, and embracing  it as truth. I am all of these things and more. And I am finally ready to accept it, be grateful, and love myself.

Having a low opinion of yourself is not "modesty". It's self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not "egotism". It's a necessary precondition to happiness and success. ~Bobbe Sommer

So what does this all mean? I am going to try to love myself more... yes. I am going to hope that this will reflect well on others and they, too can love themselves... yes. I am going to work toward new goals in my health and life... yes, kinda.

For the immediate future, this means that I am not going to be pounding the pavement trying to work myself to the bone to get into a wedding dress that I think is an acceptable size. I am dropping my expectations for weight loss and size loss. Instead I am focusing on gains. On happiness and acceptance. On loving myself exactly as I am. And on continuing to do what I know to be right for my body. Eating things that give me energy, avoiding things that do not. But not beating myself over anything, ever. I will love myself relentlessly, endlessly.

“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.”
W.H. Auden

And in final hopes that I am one you love, who can make you laugh... here is a video I can not get enough of:

Ben said "THAT IS TOTALLY YOU IN CHILD FORM!" I have to agree with him... it is SOOOO GOOD! (In my best Essex accent!)

Love you all so much, thank you of course for loving me too!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

'Manda's Musings-15 things to give up for supreme happiness

Hello readers! I hope I didn't lose all of you in my long long long long time away. I have had quite the March and April. I am still struggling to feel happy with the loss of a cousin recently.  He wasn't a part of my EVERY day life, but he was a part of my heart, and it never gets easier, losing a cousin who is more like a brother in this way. I am sorry he is gone.

A good friend of mine sent me a link to this website... and I really want to spend some time looking at what it has to say. Fair warning... this will be a long post. But if you stick with me, you might learn something. <3

"Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

I think this is something I hate to admit about myself. I do want to be right. I strive to be the best at absolutely everything I can be, and I don't know where else to go but there. I have been taught through and through to put my best effort into everything, and when that is met with error or failure I get down on myself, and sometimes others. Especially when it comes to my wanting to be right about my future and my life... I think I need to embrace the fact that sometimes it is okay to be wrong. 

 Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

This one is a toughy too. I like to think I am in control of everything-including the future. I am trying, very hard, to relinquish my false sense of control to my HP and allow them to do what they do best, the impossible.

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

Until this very moment I didn't feel like I could connect with this one, while I was typing "I don't really connect with this one" I realized that I do. I have blamed people for a lot of things.  I have blamed my father for most of the things that have gone wrong in my life. I have blamed South Dakota for my unhappiness... It goes on. All I can do is ask for guidance in my journey and pray that I find peace, without judgement or blame. For those who I have blamed: I can try, my best, to make amends.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

 Oh dear... This is one I would fail at.  Ben has been trying to program me to erase the bad words and replace them with good ones. Whenever he hears me self-defeat he makes me repeat positive things about myself. This has been very helpful because I am coming up with nicer things to say about myself. I came to him with an idea to send love to EVERYONE even people who bother us and or bad drivers etc. He said "That's fine but that means you have to send love to yourself too, can you handle that?"... Does the boy know me or does he know me!? 

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

I seem to have beliefs that actually stretch TOO far. I don't usually let things limit my beliefs unless it is my beliefs about myself (most of the time). This is one I don't really feel relates to me that much. 
6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

I would like to think that I don't complain. But, like most people, when I truly take time to listen to the words coming out of my mouth and the thoughts flowing freely in my head, more often than not they are complaints about things I have little to no control over. I have recently been trying to replace these negative thoughts with something more functional and positive... because a complaint fixes nothing but your attitude into a semi-negative state.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

This could have the exact same response as the complaints. Complaints and criticisms go hand in hand for me and they should be eliminated from my frame of thought-they do nothing good for the world.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

Oh jeeze... I literally need to take time and put it into this one. I can't figure out... how to not care about impressing others.

I really care so much about what other people think. More so I care that I am hurting them or making them uncomfortable in some way... I don't want that at all.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

Change is good. Sometimes too much change is bad. Instead of a resistance to change I have a dependency on it... I would like to give up on my dependency to change--let life happen as it should.

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

I have gone to workshops for this! :) LOL I am pretty decent at not using labels, at least not excessively. This is one that goes to the bottom of my list, just because it doesn't take much effort from me.

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt

Step 6 and 7 are there for this one. Fear is one of my character defects, hell this whole list is. I just mostly have a fear of the unknown... and a fear of being alone. Fear is just an illusion... I created it... I am confident in my life and my HP to take care of me.

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

DAMN IT! This post is taking everything I have! ;) I am grateful today to not make as many excuses as I have in the past! :) I am doing really well at not making excuses-or so I think. At least, at the very very least, I am no longer lying... that is an adequate start, If you ask me.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

Past, I have moved on. Mostly. Some things that happened I hold on to but for the most part, I have spent so much time living in the future that I have not had much time to spend with the past.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

YUCK! How hard is this!? At least for me it is hard... Detach myself from ALL THINGS?! Wowsa... I hope that I am capable of doing this at some point... It just seems so daunting right now.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

If there is one thing on this entire list that I need to do, and that I have worked on in the last 4 days since receiving this link... it is this one.

This is not your life. It is mine. As a matter of fact, it is not even my life to control, just my life to live and appreciate. I have made decisions that you would not have made. I have said and done things that you would not have said and done. I am sorry for that, but it is not your decision. It is my life to live, my decisions and mistakes to make, and my love that should remind you that nothing I have done has been in a personal vendetta against you. It is merely what I felt I needed to do.

So that's that. those are 15 things I am striving to give up for happiness.

 I hope you all have a pleasant and beautiful weekend.