The Road So Far

 

A pair of hands, clawing their way out through the dirt. They finally break through. Now a pair of arms and slowly a head, torso and the lower body. Yep! Dean Winchester has just arrived back from Hell.

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The Best Is Yet To Come

Man, those last posts were heavy and uncomfortable, weren’t they? But they are necessary. If we want to find true freedom and happiness that is. Okay, so we’ve talked about our own personal Hell in the form of abuse, and how harmful it is for our emotional and physical well-being, and that we need to step up and take responsibility for our own actions. So what’s next?

We claw our way out of course. We overcome it. We pray that we will be “gripped tight and raised from perdition”.  We rediscover ourselves and grow from these experiences to become better versions of ourselves. I believe that sometimes we must go through something truly bad in order to effect truly positive change in our own lives as well as the lives of others. First, let me ask you a question to illustrate my point.

How are diamonds made?

Diamonds were, once upon a time, lumps of coal. Have you ever seen a lump of coal? It’s not very pretty is it? It’s rough, it’s black and dusty and definitely not sparkly.

So, how does it get to that nice and sparkly stage?

Coal is buried in the earth beneath many layers of sediment, soil and vegetation. As such, it is under intense pressure from everything that is above it. With increased heat and millions of years, coal slowly transforms into a diamond in the rough. It is unpolished and again not very pretty in comparison to the diamonds we see in shops today.

So, how does it get to that gorgeous polished sparkle?

The diamonds are mined from their individual sources and then taken somewhere for further processing to be cut, shaped and polished until it resembles what we all know and love … a polished, clear and sparkly diamond.

So, in summary:

Intense heat and pressure + a tonne of time = a diamond in the rough.

Mining of the rough diamond + cutting, shaping and polishing = a sparkly and priceless diamond that everyone wants to wear.

So, in real life then, the challenges that we face are similar to the birth, development and the processing of the diamond. For some of us, we go through terrible things not to break us down but to strengthen us so like a diamond, we too can be unbreakable and beautiful both inside and out.

To know one thing from another, we must first have had experience of its opposite

How can we know what true joy is if we have never experienced intense sorrow? How can we be self-reliant, if we never first learned how to depend on others? How do we learn to truly appreciate our health, if we have never been sick?

We All Have Our Own Demons To Slay

Demons. You know them. The guys with the black eyes, that possess people and make them do terrible things.

Okay, so in real life that doesn’t happen, at least not that I am aware of, but ‘External Demons’ are those who seek to control you and ‘possess’ you in the sense that they own you, that they have power over you. For some, these are the rapists of the world, they enter your body without your express permission and they make you ashamed and guilty of something that you had no control over. For others, these are those who abuse their position of authority over you.

Or, our ‘Inner Demons’ are our mental health conditions, e.g. depression, anxiety, addictions, low self-esteem, OCD whatever, are inside our heads (that does not make them any less real! Of course they are real!) and, if we are not careful, they can run our lives. Run them and ruin them. With addictions, some people do things they wouldn’t normally do. They may turn to stealing just to get the money for their next fix. With anxiety / depression, when people are overwhelmed, they may snap at others and struggle to even get out of bed in the mornings. Low self-esteem may make a person agree to things that they should not be agreeing to, most especially when in reality they desperately want to say no.

‘Inner Demons’ of mental health conditions can be triggered by the acts of ‘External Demons’ or they can be triggered by a person experiencing the sudden death of a loved one or being made redundant or anything else that can negatively affect a person’s mental health.

Some Of Us Have To Deal With Energy Vampires

Vampires. Sharp claws and fangs. Feeds off our blood. Hates sunlight.

In reality, we may encounter those people. The pessimists. The whiners. The complainers. The woe is me-ers. People who, at least for them it seems, everything is always going wrong. There is no sunshine and rainbows. It is just rain and storms. They drain our energy, at least our positive energy anyway, and instead replace it with negative energy. With lethargy and an unhealthy state of mind.

Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn says:

You Are The Sum Of The Five People Closest To You, Make It Count

Are we hanging out with people who constantly drain our emotional energy? Or are we hanging out with the people who uplift and support us? The people who we aspire to be like?

And Finally We Have The Shapeshifters

Shapeshifters. Changing their shapes and shedding their skins. Pretending to be anyone they want to be.

In real life, these are the narcissists. They mould themselves to fit your ideals and pretend to be the perfect guy / girl, complete with charming looks and personality or whatever it is you desire in a friendship / romantic relationship. Once they have lulled you into a false sense of security, they drop their masks. They seem to suddenly change into another person, not physically of course, and they are no longer the man / woman you once knew. Truth is, you never knew them. Not the real them anyway. You only saw the persona, the projection of what they wanted you to see.

Of course there are many other monsters on Supernatural, with possible real world equivalents out there. But I think these cover the top three we need to deal with in our day to day lives. Feel free to add your own to this list if you can come up with any more.

Okay, so what now? Just like Sam and Dean Winchester have tools of the hunting trade, we too can have our own tools to help keep us safe and healthy in mind, body and spirit.

So, What Exactly Is Our Tool Kit Then?

I mean, it’s not like we are going to be carrying around weapons and the like. Firstly, that’s illegal and secondly, there are other ways of taking care of yourself.

I want you to imagine for a moment that the beloved Impala represents our minds and the radio is our thoughts. Dean once said “Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cake hole.” You and me? We are the driver’s of our own Impalas. We choose what our thoughts are. We choose how we respond to the happenings of our lives. Shotgun? Shotgun is our mental health conditions that try to say some pretty nasty stuff about us. Shotgun is anyone in our lives who are not good for us, who break our spirits and tear us down emotionally. So, if we are the ‘driver’s’ we need to find a way to pick the ‘music’ that we want to listen to.

Read Personal Development Books

When we read with the intent to learn and act upon the principles in each book, we can drastically improve our own lives. Of course, as with all things, this will take time. But by implementing each new thing slowly, we can create lasting positive change.

Shannon Kaiser is my favourite self-help author and here is a list of her books:

Find Your Happy

Find Your Happy Daily Mantras

Adventures For Your Soul

The Self-Love Experiment

Find Your Happy Daily Mantra Deck which has 56 cards and an accompanying guidebook.

I have read most of them and have loved them. My copy of the mantra card deck has yet to arrive, but I am sure I will absolutely love that one too. Also I got to meet Shannon in Mexico, on a surf and yoga retreat, which was pretty cool. She’s a lovely and sweet person who genuinely cares about people and helping them to improve their lives. She has her own experiences with clinical depression and unhealthy relationships and managed to turn her own life around, creating a profitable business that she loves in the process. So she’s definitely an inspirational woman with lots of experience.

Repeat Mantras

Did you know, words have exceptional power? They have the power to harm a person’s soul or to heal them instead. The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are ultimately what our brains believe. If we tell ourselves good things about ourselves, and we tell ourselves these things often enough, we can retrain our brains to overcome anything we come across. And guess what? Eventually we become what we think. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we think negative thoughts about ourselves and the people and the world around us.

We can fall into old patterns of thinking, no matter how far we have come (we are only human after all) and in times where it is hard for us to banish those negative thoughts, by ourselves, we can focus our minds on something else by repeating motivational mantras and positive affirmations. Like an exorcism spell, Mantras can help us to expel negative thinking patterns, expel them and release them, so we are then free to think more positively. They are positive and uplifting phrases that can help you feel good about yourself by replacing negative concepts with their positive counterparts.

Shannon’s Find Your Happy Daily Mantra Deck and accompanying guidebook is an excellent resource for this.

Or, you could check out my Motivational Mantras page for some inspiration.

Learn Meditation

Meditation, either self-directed or guided, is a wonderful way to help calm the mind and to be present in the here and now. It gives your mind something positive to focus on, especially when we can’t seem to conjure up something positive ourselves. With guided meditations, sometimes it’s nice to get out of your own head and to listen to someone else’s positive words instead.

On YouTube there are a couple of meditation channels that I love.

Boho Beautiful

The Honest Guys

Exercise

It helps with boosting your mood, improving your overall fitness and the quality of your sleep. And wouldn’t you sleep better at night knowing that you can kick some ass if you needed to?

Two programmes I love are:

PIIT28 by Cassey Ho of Blogilates – this is a six month workout programme in three levels (PIIT28 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0). You repeat each 28 day programme twice. There is also a PIITSTAGRAM photo challenge, which is an Instagram challenge you do alongside the workout programme.

YWATRUE by Adrienne Mischler of Yoga With Adrienne – this is a 30 day yoga journey. This focuses more on rediscovering ourselves and gently stretching and strengthening our bodies and finding what feels good for us. Each day has its own theme focusing on inner reflection.

Plus, I’d highly recommend just getting outside and walking in nature as much as possible.

A Great Music Playlist

For me, listening to music can really get me out of my head and feeling better. I’d recommend choosing boppy tunes that makes you want to move your body and empowering lyrics that encourage you to stand a little taller. Name your playlist something that makes you feel like a boss.

My own playlist is called the Boss Lady Power Posse Playlist, cheesy I know but it works for me, and, among other songs, this includes.

Jennifer Lopez ft Pitbull – On The Floor

Little Mix – Salute

Little Mix – Wings

A Feel Good Outfit

… and accompanying accessories, hair and/or makeup. This is whatever items of clothing and accessories that just make you smile every time you look in the mirror. It’s the outfit that when you see yourself, you can’t help but say “Damn, I look good!” It makes you feel better about yourself and very well put together, when your life feels like it is falling apart, and helps you to just overall feel great.

Something To Laugh At

“Always look on the bright side of life.” Find some images, memes, videos, whatever. Just find something that makes you laugh every single time. Laughter truly is the best medicine. It sends out happy hormones! HAPPY HORMONES PEOPLE! It helps keep stress at bay and improves your mood.

And Finally, A Buddy System

We all know Sam and Dean Winchester have each other’s back, through thick and thin, they are always there for each other. We all need someone to talk to every once in a while, even introverts such as myself. It’s nice to be able to vent out your frustrations and to get a fresh perspective on your troubles. Sometimes, because you are too close to the situation, you cannot see the end in sight but a trusted friend can.

… … …

Now we close the last chapters of our lives. It is the season finale. We move on to greater things. Better things. We carry on because we must. Because their is always hope for a better life in the future.

A River Cuts Through A Rock Not Because Of Its Power, But It’s Persistence

The same is true for all things in life both positive and negative. You change and mould your own behaviour to fit certain ideals. But whose ideals are they? To truly change yourself, to mould yourself takes time, energy, patience and persistence.  If you are doing so for yourself, to become a better and happier version of yourself, then you have a noble reason. If; however, you are moulding yourself to fit someone else’s ideals, particularly when they seem to control you, then you need to stop, step back from the situation and re-evaluate and rediscover yourself.

It is never too late to change and improve your life. No matter how bad you think you are, or your situation is, you can always start afresh from right now. Your actions do have consequences, so though, in some cases,  it may be too late to change for a current relationship to be better, future relationships will be so much better if you begin to improve yourself now. You will have times when you fall, you will have times when you feel like giving up, but pick yourself back up again. Try again and eventually you will be more consistent with your progress. Never give up hope. For you only truly fail when you give up and stop trying your best.

In CSI: New York, Dr Hawkes tells Danny Messer, who is in physical therapy to help him walk again, “Pain is the payment for each precious thing.” Sometimes the pain, be it emotional or physical, is telling us something important. We just need to learn to listen to it. What is it trying to tell us? and how do we act on it?

How will you encourage yourself to pick yourself back up again?

Whatever happens, don’t forget to smile!

Becky xx

Any thoughts? Add them to the comments below!