There's Liberation in Limitation

 

How do you define the concept of freedom?

I suppose most people would say that it is the license to do whatever you want without much restraint.  However, just because something is permissible, doesn't mean that it is advisable or even necessarily beneficial to your overall well-being.

When we think about limits, we tend to view them as this dark looming force acting as the arch enemy of free will, oppossing our sovereignty, oppressing our liberated spirits, and stifling our desire for self-determination. If you only knew that in some cases, this view point could actually be the reason why you haven't yet fully achieved your dreams.

What I've come to realize is that there can in fact be such a thing as positive limits. I'm growing into the understanding that to achieve a certain level of personal success, most of the time setting limits and restrictions on ourselves and our behaviors is key!  Trust me, this timely revelation has allowed me of late, to happily bask in the glory of true freedom.

In my quest to mine the depths of self-discovery, I've found that some of the limits I've placed on myself have not only turned out to be positive, but they've helped me to thrive.  I'm beginning to go beyond the limits I'd previously imposed on myself, able to now push back the boundaries of what I had once thought was possible.  While digging throughout my life for the pearl of self-realization, through self-regulation, I've found my authentic self!

Flashback

Looking back on my misspent youth, it's almost comical how I devoted swathes of time studying the components of shallow living instead of attempting to develop my genuine self.  It would seem that I mastered the art of maintaining and projecting an image of how I wanted to be seen in order to satisfy the standards of others - thus forgoing any attempt to explore the properties of my own authenticity or full potential.

It's humorous how I actually viewed myself as a rebel, who fashioned himself as a nonconformist.  What I actually was, was a guy who lived a rather self-indulgent lifestyle, testing the limits of my own hedonistic capacity, while being insubordinate to my own true nature.

I sought happiness through and unquenchable amount of pleasure seeking, but never finding any true satisfaction, because I sought comfort in frivolous, noxious, and unhealthy pursuits.  My life revolved around unfavorable behaviors and habits, spending many years languishing in the shadow of who and what I hoped to become.

It turns out that I was less of the rebel I espoused to be, and more of an unfocused, undisciplined and uninspired ne'er-do-well, with foggy goals in life.  But once this withered lifestyle became far too painful to bear, I willed myself to find something that would pry me out of my rut and use it as a springboard to go beyond happiness to outright joy.

Think Inside the Box

There are certain limits that are frankly uncool, and these are the restrictions in life that we do not choose!

They are the ones that come from some man-made authority that dictates certain "do's and don't's" that don't always align with our belief systems.  Whether they are mandated to us from some institution or we picked them up doing our public schooling, these are the limits we tend to reject.

The cool limits I'm talking about, are the conscious restrictions we place on ourselves after we begin to find out who we are and what we want - and we are ready to develop laser focus in order to someday arrive at the place we want to be.

The more constraints we place on ourselves, the more free we'll be, because the lack of constrains can be paralyzing.

Living a life within the margins WE select gives our lives structure, which allows us to channel our energies and creative pursuits, directing them toward the goals we are trying to achieve.

There is a big difference between the common, in-grained limitations we readily encounter that are experienced through the lens of indecision and fear versus the ones we consciously choose through certainty and love.

Once we un-learn and shed the false information that was thrust upon us, we'll awaken to the fact that limitations are a test of our consistency, self-discipline, and willpower.  If you plant the seeds of these attributes you will undoubtedly produce positive fruit!

The limits we place on ourselves are not hinderances to our success, they are the tools that will set us free.  So use limits to live your best life imaginable.

MB

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Not Fair to Compare


"Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else." - Margaret Mead

One of the most remarkable revelations I've ever received, was discovering just how useless comparing myself to others is.  Unfortunately, I struggled with this misconception for more years that I care to admit. 

It started around high school when I slowly began unjustly judging myself on a great number of things.  Whether it was my athletic prowess in gym class, my popularity among the student body, or my academic performance, I would regularly measure myself against the talent, charisma, and intellect of others.

This tendency lamentably lingered on into my young adulthood, where I put away my childish judgement ruler and began scrutinizing my strengths and weaknesses using a much bigger, more adult yardstick.  

I graduated to comparing job titles, income, vehicle make and models, and other worldly possessions as my perceived basic standards of success.

Too Hard on Yourself

"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Franklin Roosevelt

My tendency to compare may have worked in my favor had I used it as a motivational tool for personal growth.  Instead it became a source of pain because I took the strengths of others and compared them to my weaknesses, so it seemed to me as if I was failing.

This sort of self-criticism obviously doesn't feel good!

Self-judgement is often at the root of our pain.  We judge ourselves harshly, we judge our past, present, and future experiences, and we even judge our feelings.

From my limited and shortsighted perspective, everyone seemed to be doing better than me, as I hadn’t yet learned how to:

  • Create my own standards for success

  • Choose my own path of fulfillment

  • Set goals that were authentic and not superficial

As a result, I felt as if I were constantly marinating in a stew of disappointment, frustration, discouragement, anger, and anxiety.

The Consequence is Low Self-Confidence

"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or your middle to someone else's end." - Tim Hiller

When we compare ourselves, our self-esteem takes a major hit - This could cause us to stop pursuing our goals and dreams before we even really get going.

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For example, when I first began writing picture books, I would often compare myself to other authors.  However, I made the mistake of measuring my efforts against writers who had been in the game for years - writers who had paid their dues behind the scenes and were justifiability being rewarded the fruits of their labor.  They were experiencing a level of success that took them sometimes years to gain, yet I wished to be decorated with those same accolades right out of the gate.

Was it fair to compare my beginning effort to someone else's middle effort?

Instead, of comparing, I learned to focus on my strengths - writing honest, substantive stories that have meaning for me; knowing that with some effort and patience, I would manifest what success looked like for me!

You Do You, I'll Do Me

"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

It's so cool that we have the ability to acknowledge the fact that so many people have a variety of talents - and when those people let their talent shine, we can all benefit from that.  However, we should try spending a little more time focusing on our own talents and strengths instead of the strengths of others.  We will be of greater service to ourselves and those whose lives we touch by developing a true awareness of our own value and self-worth.

How do we go about learning what our value is? Here's a link to The Seven Signs You Know Your Value.

Develop Resilience

"To love is to stop comparing." - Bernard Grasset

So how do we stop squandering our happiness and get out of the comparison trap?

Be aware.  We've been comparing ourselves to others for so long that it has become a bad habit.  Like other bad habits, we must first admit that we have a problem to become more conscious.  Becoming aware of the thoughts that are going through our minds helps us to identify who or what triggers our envious thoughts.  Be mindful of the fact that these thoughts add no value to our lives and STOP!

Pause.  Remember that these are real emotions that may show up every day, or even moment to moment.  Putting them in their proper place will take time and practice.  Don't beat yourself up! Acknowledge the thought and then shift focus.

Be grateful. Shift your focus back to yourself and what you’ve already been blessed with.  Count what you have and look forward to the things you plan to gain by focusing on following your unique path.

Have hope.  To compare as a source of motivation is one thing, but to "covet" is not cool! Do you admire these people, or do you want what they have?  Let's be real, you will never have exactly what they have.  It may look similar, but it will always be different.  Embrace that fact.  You can use people as motivation because they inspire you, but when you just want their "stuff" then you've entered into unhealthy territory.

The only person you should be better than, is who you were yesterday.

Remember that they are just people too, and if they can do great things, so can you.  

Don't fall for the okey-doke by allowing other people's successes to make you feel a sense of lack.  Flip the script and use comparisons as motivation to become a better person so that maybe you can use that energy to increase the joy in your own little corner of the world.

MB


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GOOD ENOUGH?


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ever since I can remember, I have based my value on marks, on grades, on percentages

on sheets of white paper with black, standardized text, asking standardized questions 

questions that mould intelligence, creativity, individuality of a beautiful child’s mind into a numerical value

a score out of 100

a red-biro fraction in a red-biro circle inked in the top right-hand corner.

that ink seeps into my skin, is etched into my soul; carving out what it means to be liked, to be successful, to be worthy,

worthy of love

worthy of being far, far away from that fear of failure and all that we are told comes with it;

worthy of holidays, of a nice house, of presents at christmas

things us children are told come hand-in-hand with ‘financial security’, with ‘a stable career’

with money

with happiness.

 

but now I am not a child, and I know that this simple equation is not all it seems

although I will never forget that my one ‘B’ grade in an ocean of sparkling ‘A’s’ was in maths

I still can believe my less than satisfactory brain when I think

that this mathematical equation is one that is,

in fact,

incorrect.

a subtracted mark from that all important score

a mark I would agonize over; would question teachers about 

never feeling satisfied

never feeling proud

never feeling quite good enough.

 

and as a girl becomes a woman

it is too easy to fall into into another trap society has set 

placing self-worth on the external 

placing self-worth on our image or on our ‘health’

where in reality as our physical health maybe momentarily increases

our mental health steadily dwindles.

there was a day when i looked into the mirror to see the progress of my teeth growing in 

not the progress of my ‘abs’ as a marker of my ‘fitness’

a day when we were told our ‘bottoms were a seat’ and not a marker of attractiveness

of admiration

of envy

a day when we did not know beauty was linked to an image of a ‘perfect’ female form.

 

the word anxiety creeps its way through an innocent child’s skin

red ink, swirling, into my bloodstream

and settling

deep in my stomach

wrapping one arm around the space that once, I trusted 

a space that so effortlessly nourished and cared for me

and the other arm around my mind

it’s fingers skillfully placing a tint over my eyes

undetectable

making me see life through glasses of fear

of hate

of insecurity 

before closing it’s arms together, in a toxic embrace

forming a link between my worth and what I choose to enter this area of my body

or what I choose not to

creating irrational fears that see-saw from being so obsessed with health

wanting to improve

wanting to be better

to not feeling worthy of the money that nourishment costs

hidden behind the frugality of a loan-dependent student 

to not feeling worthy of nourishment unless, maybe, if following certain rules

because following rules is a perfectly measured recipe that bakes a sugar-free, fat-free cake of success

 

a see-saw between the achievement of being so clean, so pure

and the achievement of being empty and thriving

a see-saw between the fear of never reaching my best self

and the feeling 

of not having one

 

because if even if that red ink writes 100/100 

like it has on occasion for now-trivial past achievements

 

even if i rebuild my outer shell that has shrunken in the laundry

as my self-esteem was washed away with the suds of perceived ’imperfection’

 

even if what i see in the mirror does finally satisfy me, even with a number on the scale that does not inflict worry or concern

 

even if the red ink completes that circle

once again encompassing my worth and compacting it into the top right hand corner of a piece of paper i’ll never see again

 

would I then be freed from this never-ending cycle that society has created?

these expectations, ideals

images

the fears that almost are ingrained into our genetic makeup

 

the circle of the grade

the circle of the percentage

the circle of my stomach

the circles of my eyes

the circulating thoughts in my mind

 

maybe then

I would feel

good enough.

 

 

 

 

 

- Alexandra Murray-Reynolds (@thehippychickpea)

find more at thehippychickpea.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Will Be Okay


Dear Everyone,

Believe it or not, you will be okay. Nothing lasts forever. This pain will leave. One day, you will be okay.
You will wake up one morning and realize that you didn’t cry yourself to sleep the night before. You will be driving while listening to your favorite playlist and realize that you overcame the fear of driving.
Someday, you will be laughing with your family or friends and realize, in the middle of that moment, that you got through the weeks where you thought you would never laugh again. Your head ached and your heart hurt during those weeks but now your stomach is the only thing aching and it’s because you can’t stop laughing.
You will be happy someday. You will be eating a meal with your favorite people and having a good time talking with the people you love most and the realization that you overcame your eating disorder will overwhelm you and you will feel filled with strength you never thought you had.
You will be talking to somebody and enjoying the conversation you are having when you realize that you used to tremble with fear anytime you had a social interaction with anyone. Eventually, you will be okay.
You might be sitting in class raising your head every couple of minutes because you finally understand a concept that you couldn’t think about without panicking a few weeks ago and you will be overwhelmed with confidence in yourself.
Maybe you will post a picture to Instagram of you at the gym and realize that you once couldn’t stand to look at yourself in the mirror and now you are confident in what you look like because you are strong and your body is capable of much more than just looking good. You will have new found confidence in yourself because you finally made the realization that if you work on yourself and feel good and happy on the inside, you will be beautiful no matter what you look like on the outside.
You will finally understand that looks aren’t everything and so you will spend time working on your character more than you used to spend obsessing over your jeans size.  
One day, you will smile for the camera instead of covering your face and turning away.
You will learn to live in the moment rather than fearing for the next one.
The future won’t seem as scary and uncertainty will not be your enemy anymore.
You’ll learn to love and accept change as it comes. You’ll find yourself enjoying the changes in your life.
You will let go.
You won’t feel the need to have everything under your control anymore.
You will learn how to let go of things that you have held on to for as long as you can remember and because of this, you will feel free.
You will keep changing and growing and eventually, you will be okay. 

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the war is over / a poem


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i'm breathing in the shadows

and they taste quite hollow

it's a void that captures me

in an infinite loop

of light and darkness.

eternal twins that hold hands

through earthquakes and nightmares.

 

i'm tasting the clouds

and they feel like honey.

a gold that leaves me blind

every time i jump, and start rising.

 

i became friends with every corner of myself

and now i can dance through the misery

and the mystery;

it feels good to wake up to peace.

 

now that the battlefields have been silenced,

the shadows are somewhat less hollow

and the clouds sweeter than ever. 

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broken (the journey to survival)


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the stories my body tell are shaped with lies that left my bones deaf. blind in a world where light is supposed to guide you. mute in a place where words are the spear to survival. disarmed by trust. left damaged in the corner of a room, one that was cold but that i began to call home because i was too scared to leave. leave, to the uncertainty of life where other monsters awaited with their knives high. pointing at me.

but in this room at least i knew my monster and i could predict every attack, every bruise. i learned to lick my own blood from the wounds that he left, but forgot to cleanse my heart, so now it lies there, rotten. rotten and caged in my chest. cursed by the distorted thoughts i left unattended for too long. and now what? the room is empty and there's no monster, no heart. i'm deaf from the shouts of those who once cared. so ashamed i tremble in shock as i walk outside and the guns are down. but i'm cold, and alone, and i wonder if i will ever find another room where my wounds can become scars, and my scars tattoos. tattoos that speak about my story louder than my voice. a voice that i lost. long ago. 

when i believed in a love that wasn't love at all. 

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obsession: my chronic pain, in words


obsession

stale, leaden veins

black velvet pain

a fatigued,    

                  alluring        

                               addiction.             

a craving

lust ?

hunger .

to run

         to escape

                         to be free [so very, very free]

tender,

                                    fragile- 

       careful !

                

          see your life

                      watch your story

                                                                                    slip

                                                                                                  !

so melt in

syrupy, sweet fire;

and drown in

cruel, bitter desire;

                                become anger, confusion

                                         become lost

and every     

                     now

        and then

                                    …

spot your life

hey!

      that’s mine!

                                                                        I see you.

then,

taste seductive, vicious hands

as they haul you back home

to a weary,

                     decaying

            cage

ache and creak,

let an ugly tear leak,

and hear them whisper

                                                                                          “nice try”

 

 

what this poem means to me~

I wrote this poem around September 2017 for a school assignment. At the time I was really struggling with my chronic pain, and couldn't find the words (verbally) to express what I was experiencing to others. I felt trapped, suffocated and incredibly lonely. My aim in writing was to communicate the reality of living with persistent pain to a healthy person - I was so desperate for empathy, for understanding, for recognition of what I was enduring. As I began to write, I started to hear myself. I started to understand myself. These words hold a special place in my heart, for they symbolise the first time I was able to honour my internal world through language.

Initially, I wanted to depict what chronic pain physically feels like: fatigue; constantly feeling fragile; feeling like your body is degenerating and elderly; the constant stiffness and soreness. More importantly though, I wanted to convey what chronic pain emotionally feels like. I needed to to express the frustration and anger that had felt consuming to me at times. It can feel like you are losing your identity to the pain, which can be quite scary. Your emotions are sometimes so overpowering that it feels there is nothing else to you: you are being eaten from the inside out by your own confusion and loneliness.

I wanted my poem to have a sense of vagueness, almost deranged madness – as if the persona is not in their right mind – to emphasise the feelings of desperation, hopelessness and restlessness that accompany chronic conditions. I also wanted to depict the pain as an exterior, controlling, malicious force – as opposed to something from within – to portray the persona as a victim (which is not necessarily the case realistically, but it can certainly feel that way at times). I wanted to unsettle the reader with a sense of eeriness, a sense of powerlessness and imprisonment.

Ultimately, I was desperate to communicate to others the feeling of suffocation, of being trapped. This poem is about lacking the freedom to take control of your life and live the way you want to. I wanted to portray feeling like a spectator in your own existence, as if you are watching the pain take control without knowing how to change your own fate. I wanted to express how devastating it is when you find a pocket of hope (for example, a new treatment, a new diagnosis, a new opportunity), and realise time and time again that nothing is changing or improving. This poem is about feeling that you might never heal your body, and fearing that you will always be a slave to your pain. It’s about your vision for the future, your dreams and your story changing before your eyes and feeling like you cannot do anything about it.

Overall, this poem is an expression of the consuming nature of chronic pain. I wanted it to be delicate and powerful, like the human body, and present a new perspective on living with any persistent condition. I really enjoyed writing this and I'm super stoked with the end result, but I'm not sure if I achieved the impact I aimed for - the poem could be interpreted in so many different ways due to its vagueness. I also consider this a powerful quality though, as hopefully readers everywhere can relate my words to personal struggles they are enduring, or have endured.

I am endlessly, endlessly grateful you have taken the time to read my words! I hope that in some way they can bring a new perspective to your day.

Sending so so much love and light,

Amy xo

thumbnail photograph: copyright work of Claudia Tero

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/dreamingofbreakfast/

to unabashedly love myself through it all


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It seems as though it is the general consensus that 2017 was a year of immense growth coupled with incredible suffering; for me it was no different. During the first half I decided to wear only my natural hair instead of various forms of extensions/braided hairstyles, until I came to a point where I found myself wholly acknowledging my own beauty, accepting my little afro. It was hard, but I overcame…

It’s funny to me, how when it seems as though we are victorious, there comes one “last” giant test to win the battle, or “level up” in this journey of life. For me, it came in the form of Celiac Disease, where my scalp began to react to certain shampoos and I would scratch/pick at my hair. Couple that with an excessive amount of stress and you have yourself a recipe for trichotillomania, at least in my case. I have, for as long as I can remember, sporadically picked at my eyebrows, only to realize this happened when I looked and one eyebrow was barren at the top in comparison to the other. Once I noticed this, after looking down countless times at my shirt to notice it covered in hair and my partner encouraging me to get my fingers away from my scalp, I installed dreadlocks in hopes that when I got them out I would no longer subconsciously pick.

... However, right after I installed these dreadlocks - in hopes that I could cover my tracks out of a bad habit - I noticed again, countless times a day, hair on my shirt - a reminder to keep my fingers away from my hair.

Nothing had changed.

My mindset hadn’t changed.

Until finally, the dust had settled from 2017 and I knew I had the mental fortitude/time. Because let's be real y’all, mental health is everything, but time heals all. I decided I was no longer going to consciously feed my anxiety. I would have more time now that I had graduated and the universe had given me more time to breathe. My soul, however, needed to recharge I needed to have healthy hair again, and not subconsciously pick. I toyed with the idea of dreadlocks again (fauxlock really), because c'mon I looked GOOD. But my soul needed more than that, it needed a boost.

I found this decision I was playing around with in my mind to be a shadow of who I fought to no longer be, someone who depended on longer hair to feel feminine, to feel beautiful. Although my intentions were fueled by love there was also a lot of anxiety and fear in there, because my hair was in bad shape. But my health was more important, and I was putting it in jeopardy. So, I decided to shave my hair. I didn’t make a big fuss about it. I just told Stephen, the day before we went, that it was something I intended to do and something I was sure about. I also texted a few friends who I knew I would see the following day that, saying that this was something I was going to do, to keep me accountable. And let me tell you…

I feel the same, by the same I mean like myself. I feel like a warrior woman. Because I chose to still find beauty, genuine, undeniable, raw organic, non-GMO beauty in myself despite societies standards, not just the western painting of beauty but a standard mirrored in even the most free-thinking open-minded corners of the world. If you find yourself stuck between societies agreements and yourself, always choose yourself. Self-love is everything. If it really is all a dream, participate, lucid dream and form your own reality. To unabashedly love thyself and honor your truth is the greatest way to honor yourself, and this life.

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g5P80GgrMw&t=11s

Cocoon


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 I often feel a strong desire to set free, to run off, to explore the unfamiliar realm of tranquility. 

 

I find myself helplessly cemented to the ground, only able to reach my arms out a short distance. 

 

That urge to liberate fills my soul, bringing chills to my surface that dance around my spine. 

 

The sensation of a word on the tip of my tongue screaming to be ripped off. 

 

I’ve been sitting in the far back becoming familiar with the dampness that surrounds me. 

 

Beginning to grow new life on the stagnant surface. Shades begin white that soon darken with every layer that forms.

 

 I’ve grown to love the view, while naive curiosity filled my mind. 

 

I reached my hands out and saw between my fingers broken pieces of the world in the far distance.

 

Drawing me in with it’s hypnotic beauty. I feel the colossal world hovering over me as it tickles my skin with it’s eyes. 

 

Viewing me as one with the ground. Cradled by the cocoon that consumes me. 

 

Impatient with the duration that it takes my robust wings to break through the indestructible home that surrounds me. 

 

The sun cues the same routine, while the moon brings me to this life I dream of.

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GROWING WITHIN THE CHAOS


The Antennae galaxies, a pair of interacting galaxies located 45 – 65 million light years from Earth.

The Antennae galaxies, a pair of interacting galaxies located 45 – 65 million light years from Earth.

Lately, I have been feeling as if I am in the middle of nowhere (which, certainly, we are). And for the first time in my life, I do not care. I decide to embrace uncertainty. To live with and within the chaos. To feel the dust of million stars which have collided together. Even if it hurts. Even if I don't understand it. Even if I feel lost.

For the first time in my life, I let go of expectations, judgment and fear. I choose this path in order to be completely free. Untethered. Unchained. Maybe even lazy and unbothered when it comes to society rules. For I am creating my own. And only those I will follow. Only in that way I can grow, blossom, be. Spread my light, unfold my wings, build and lift my dreams up. Only in that way I can expand myself, rise, ascend straight up as a rocket.

«You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star» said Nietzsche once.

Ergo, the world better be prepared. The world better be conscious about this seeming underdog that will change the world someday. For this woman will give birth to an extraordinary dancing galaxy on her own by virtue of this chaos which will become art one day. This chaos shall pass too. This is where my demons are, not where my heart and passion will be.

Carry on, my dear soul. We will flow again. ✨☄💙💫

@untetheredmermaid

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A LETTER FOR JANUARY


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A soft stream of light escaping through the blind, the blue, cold sun ray resting onto every surface, illuminating the room. January. Month of determination, of procrastination, of biting frost and biting words, belittling yourself; knowing you can do better, can be better. The months of good intentions, intentions that can so easily be taken wayward; manifesting into destructive, unhealthy thoughts and routines, inflicting pain and insecurity and a lack of self-worth.

You deserve for your resolutions to manifest from those seeds you have planted deep within your mind, for them to flourish and grow, intertwined with your mind out into your physical life. Be conscious of those toxic seeds that you know could so easily become ingrained, poisoning your actions with superficial, detrimental thoughts. You are not a robot; you do not need fixed or changed. You are seeking growth, expansion, inner peace, and most importantly, self-love. Eat healthily because you feel good doing so, with the intention of fuelling yourself in the best way possible, not because you want to change the way you see yourself in the mirror. Exercise because you love the activity, because you love the way the adrenaline and endorphins run through your veins - not because of the guilt that would seep through them instead. Not because of the voices in your mind making you feel bad for indulging or for that number on the scale or for the fat that you pinch every time you look in the mirror. Focus your thoughts and your energy on your long-term goals. Get that dream job, raise a family, travel the world. Realise that none of them have anything to do with your image or your weight, and how achieving ‘the perfect body’  or those superficial goals won’t help you achieve them in turn. The perfect body is not defined by body fat percentage, by muscle mass, by the abs visible, by the clothing size. It is one that is nourished and fueled and indulged and moved and stretched; one that explores and dances and hugs and laughs and cries. A perfect body is one that is loved by the mind.

 

@thehippychickpea

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To The Next


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Foreword:  I wrote this poem for the new clients that walk through the doors at my treatment center.  Embarking on the road to recovery and inner healing is remarkably brave, but can be so daunting.  I know the feeling of hopelessness all too well.  Hopeless but with a fluttering spark deep inside, yearning to be set ablaze.  I hope these words envelop you with reassurance like they did for me during my dark times.

 

To The Next

To the next person who

Walks these halls

To the next person who

Dares to utter your past

To the next person who

Glances at the body next to you

Wondering

Why am I here

Who are these people

What is the purpose

You are not alone

You are not your past

You are not your mistakes

You are not your friends

You are not your family

You are an instrument of love and light

You have been hurt

In this circle

We may be different

But what is important

Is not our differences

But our similarities

We love the same

We cry the same

We shout the same

We feel the same

I may not know you

But I see you

I acknowledge you for who you are

I am grateful for you

This hike is not an easy one

Many fall off

Some give up halfway

Unable to see past the fog

That leads to the unknown

But keep trekking

Open your heart

Receive these messages

That you will hear

Not many get the chance

And not many want to hear

But slowly

And surely

You will realize

You are not alone

You are not your past

You are not your mistakes

You are not your friends

You are not your family

You are an instrument of love and light

You have been hurt

But

You don’t have to anymore

It may take traveling to

The darkest places

The darkest corners of your mind

To truly see

The light on the other side

The light in her eyes

The light in his eyes

That you feel you will never quite understand

It is warm

It is bright

It is all encompassing

And it reaches even the darkest corners of your mind

Bask in the newness of it

Bask in the discomfort

Because once it happens

And once the seed is planted

There is no going back

The rain is inevitable

Some days it is dry as dust

Some days it is sprinkling

Others it is pouring

It may feel like you are drowning

In the loneliness

Confusion

Despair

Anger

Hurt

Sadness

Betrayal

Guilt

Shame

Emptiness

Fear

But you are growing

Grow towards the light

Whatever that is for you

You may look back once in a while

At the tangled mess of your past

Not wanting to leave anyone behind

But it’s okay

As much as you love them

Care for them

And wish the best for them

You cannot pull them out of the mud

Unless they want to be

All you can do

Is look forward to the light

Glance back at the dark

And know

You are becoming the light

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