When Nothing is Working

(FYI: Before you read this I just wanna say this post is super random and I usually take days to write a post and I wrote this in an hour. Not sure who this is for or if it’s just for me, or if it even makes sense for that matter, but I felt I had to put it out there, so here goes…)

Hey guys! After a long hiatus, (which I absolutely promise will never happen, ever again) I am finally back. This summer has been a mix of emotions. On one hand, I had a great summer. I took a fabulous vacation and had the time of my life. When not on vacation, I spent my days babysitting and my evenings tutoring elementary-aged kids. This led to a very laid-back, over all amazing summer. However…

Things weren’t entirely perfect because always in the back of my mind was the burning question, “What’s going to happen this fall when summer’s said and done?”

The reason I was so concerned about this for the first time in my life was because I just graduated college last year and I thought the job-finding process would be much easier than it has been. Despite sending out tons of resumés, I still have absolutely no leads in the field I received my degree in. Thus, the anxiety and stress levels in me have been sky-high. I’ve contemplated everything over and over, used different approaches to solve my problem; try harder, give up, be patient and wait, etc…. none of it’s worked.

I feel I also must say I’ve spent all summer learning about the Law of Attraction. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it’s basically the belief that we are all energetic beings constantly vibrating out a frequency with our thoughts and beliefs. What we think, aka the energy we put out there, is what we get back. Because I believe so strongly in this, I wanted to use the Law of Attraction to attract the right job and a larger income into my life. I listen to Abraham Hicks Law of Attraction videos all the time and I make sure to meditate at least once a day, among other various things, to stay aligned. I believe that over the past six or so months that I’ve been actively practicing the Law of Attraction, I’ve been putting a good-vibe frequency out into the universe, but despite all my efforts and high desires, there have been no results in the job area, which obviously has led to a great deal of frustration (and maybe some cursing and tears, too…).

The only reason I haven’t given up on the Law of Attraction is because I can clearly see how it has worked for me in the past, with lots of different aspects of my life. I know without a doubt I attracted certain things and I can clearly look back now and see how I did it. Therefore, since I know LOA works, I have finally come to the conclusion that just maybe a full-time lead teacher position isn’t for me, at least not yet. You see, I love teaching, but my love of teaching kids has always come second to my love for writing. My ultimate dream is to be a writer, through blogging, self-help writing, and writing novels.

My mindset during and right after college was, “I’ll teach for a few years and write on the side, until I know without a doubt this writing thing is gonna work out.” Sounds like a perfect plan, right?! I had this whole plan figured out – or so I thought. But now, I’m looking around and I have neither teaching job nor am I writing consistently. (Not surprisingly, my stress has left me lacking in the inspiration department.) I’ve always been able to manifest jobs effortlessly in the past, I always got the exact position I wanted, when I wanted it, which is why this has been such a defeating and frustrating struggle for me. Why can’t I just manifest the freaking thing?! Is it too much to ask, Universe?!

Buttttt….If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Law of Attraction, it’s that if I’m not getting something I think I want, then the only conclusion is that I am not aligned with it, I’m not on the same vibrational frequency as it. I know that because I’m not getting any of these jobs that I’m not aligned with them, and maybe, just maybe…that’s a good thing? Dare I say that just maybe I’m not being given any of these jobs because there’s something bigger and better out there for me? Maybe taking a full-time teaching job would put my bigger dreams on the back burner because I’d get too busy being caught up in the duties that come along with teaching?

I know a lot of my resistance, and therefore feeling stuck where I am with no other choices, comes from pride. I felt I had to get a lead teaching job so as not to disappoint those closest to me, and not getting one made me feel like a failure. But now, I am choosing to not care what they think about my decisions anymore. I can’t. The pressure of pleasing others is taking up too much of my valuable energy. While it’s true I have to make an income, who’s to say I have to do it being a lead classroom teacher in a public school right now? Maybe another job would give me the freedom to write more, and help me prepare for the dreams I ultimately want, which is to move out of state and become a full-time writer.

I guess what I am trying to say is that you (I’m talking to myself too) don’t have to stay stuck. You don’t have to follow the opinions of what others think you should do. If you feel resistance about going forward with something, it’s for a reason. Only YOU know what is right for you. Nobody else, no matter how important or experienced they may be in what they do, could possibly know all of your desires or the best way for you to get to where you want to be, but your inner being does. Follow your inner being’s guidance!

The main thing my inner being keeps telling me is to continue to meditate daily (it’s now non-negotiable, I’ve finally realized I don’t have time to not meditate), and then and only then, to follow the next impulse that comes, no matter how random or illogical it may seem. I don’t have to see the whole picture to move forward, which was the detrimental belief that was paralyzing me from moving forward all summer. Eventually, enough next right steps taken one at a time will take me very far. I just have to keep moving. You have that same connection to your inner being too, that same inner guidance is always available to you. You just have to get quiet your mind enough to hear that guidance.

Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done. It’s much easier to just keep living life the way you have always done instead of doing the internal work that makes real, lasting change. It’s a never-ending effort that must happen daily. It’s not like you eventually earn you spiritual degree and then never have to work on yourself again. Like your physical body, you have to continually maintain upkeep of your mental and spiritual health as well. But trust me, the work is so worth it.

I know I’ve had a hard time lately but I’ve been through so much worse before. I overcame a freaking panic disorder! There used to be days where I’d beg for a struggle like the one I have now if it meant I could just feel normal in my body for once. I literally couldn’t go anywhere for roughly five years without feeling like I was dying. Since I overcame that, I know I got this too. And you can too. I know if you’re still reading this you’ve been through some shit that you came out of, and whatever you’re going through now, whether it be anxiety, depression, feeling lost/stuck/broken/unworthy/hopeless, whatever it is, you can and will get through, and you will be so much better having gone through it than you ever would’ve been without it. I can honestly say that even as shitty as it was, I would never in a million years take back my anxiety disorder because of what it taught me and where it led me, and I know I’ll feel the same way about this challenge someday too.

I’m going to keep writing everyday. I’m not giving up on this blog or the books I want to write just because something else in my life isn’t working. If anything, this gives me more inspiration and time to write. My dreams mean too much to me to let them die. Don’t let your dreams die, either. If you have something holding you back, let me know. I’ve overcome a five-year long panic disorder and would love to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some guidance.

This post was super random to me, but I felt compelled to write it. I don’t really know what else to say, so on another note, please keep checking back for new posts, as I will definitely be spending a lot more time on here! And as always, much love and light your way.

Kara ❤

 

The Transformative Belief Essential for Everyone: I Am Enough

I am not enough.

Did you know that this belief about oneself is the common denominator of all other negative thoughts?

I love listening to any podcast that teaches self-transformation. I am always striving to learn about how to become a more peace-filled, joyful person. One of my absolute favorite people to listen to when I need some guidance is world-renowned psychologist Marisa Peer. From the first time I listened to her, I really resonated with what she had to say. After witnessing how simple yet effective her methods are and how well they have worked when applying them to my own life, I am astonished that so few therapists teach similar strategies to their clients.

Marisa’s whole philosophy on living a happier, confident, anxiety-free life is fundamentally rooted on these three words: I am enough.

A phrase so simple that its meaning is often lost. This is unfortunate, because the words ‘I am enough’ contain the power to absolutely transform your life if you make it a part of your core belief system.

I am enough. Say this to yourself, either in your mind or out loud. It sounds a bit silly or maybe even uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

This is because deep down in our subconscious mind where our core belief system resides, ‘I am enough’ is not there. The majority of us don’t believe that phrase to be truth.

It is not your fault that you don’t believe it. We live in a society that sends out very contradictory messages. Confidence is something to be admired, but be careful, because too much confidence is not okay. It’s often considered conceited or selfish. Most of us do not want to be seen this way. Our society also puts great pressure on women and men to be attractive and successful, and it promotes the need to constantly get more of everything. Our beliefs are a reflection of our personal experiences and what we have been taught by society. Ultimately, our beliefs create our reality. So, if you wonder why you experience fear, anxiety, depression, or a constant sense of wanting more all the time, these are the reasons.

We tell ourselves we want to be happy, but we go about it in an entirely wrong way simply out of ignorance. We think that just maybe if we gain the recognition, the likes, the promotion, the money, the dream spouse, tons of friends, the big house or the fancy car, then we will be fulfilled and complete, but we soon come to find that we never are. Eventually, we get used to everything, and thus, you very well could achieve every dream you ever wanted and it still wouldn’t be enough. You will then very likely become even more depressed, because after you get everything you ever thought you wanted and you’re still not happy – what is left? What’s the point?

Like any substantial problem, in order to truly fix it, you cannot just fix the surface or put a band-aid on it. Instead, you have to dig deep down to the root of the issue, pull it out completely and replace it with truth. In this case, trying to fix the surface would be telling yourself things like, “Don’t be anxious.” “Why are you depressed? You have nothing to be sad about.” “I’ll just focus all my energy on working hard and getting what I want. After I get it, then I will be happy.” These things we frequently tell ourselves in an attempt to feel better don’t work, because the core issue hasn’t been uprooted, seen as a lie, and then replaced with truth. The core issue of course is the belief that we alone are not enough.

If you truly believe you are enough, you will not need anything. You will not crave outside validation, fancy things, or a high status. You will still receive some of these things, as true security in oneself is a magnet for manifestation (but that’s a whole other topic for another day 🙂 ), and yes, it will be nice to get those things, and yes, you should display gratitude for them if you receive them. But if you lose them, or don’t get them on time, or in the way in which you yourself would choose, it will not rattle you. This is because you know that you are enough, just as you are, and you always will be. It doesn’t matter if others reject you if you believe you are enough. You won’t lose anything. If people say nice things to you, that’s great, but that’s extra; you don’t need it. Your happiness doesn’t depend upon their approval.

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The funny thing about the mind is that it doesn’t care what you tell it, it simply believes whatever you tell it. Think about it. If you continuously tell yourself things like, “I’m so stupid. I could never do that. My life is pathetic. She’s so much better/smarter/prettier than me. He’s so much more successful than me. I’m worthless.” After thinking thoughts like this enough times, your mind is going to internalize it, and it will become an automatic thought response. With negative thoughts being your mind’s automatic response to any given situation, how do you think you are going to feel, both mentally and physically? Obviously not great, because your emotions are bodily projections of your thoughts. This is why we often feel sick or pain for unexplained reasons. It stems from too many negative thoughts over a substantial period of time, looking for an outlet.

Fortunately, there is a cure, and it really is quite simple. Since the mind believes whatever you tell it, begin to tell it great things!

As I mentioned, in the beginning of your practice this may be uncomfortable or difficult. You see, our minds like what is familiar and they avoid what is unfamiliar. Because praising ourselves is usually very foreign to our minds, our minds don’t like it. It forces them to work harder, and to be honest, our minds are quite lazy. They want to take the path of least resistance, the one that has been traveled many times over, because it’s easier.

But you are not your mind. You have a mind, and thus you can tell it what to do, with practice. So tell your mind you don’t care if it is uncomfortable or has to work a bit, you are going to praise and love yourself from now on. As Marisa Peer says, “Make praise familiar, and criticism unfamiliar.” You do this by praising yourself over and over again until it becomes the norm.

Teach your mind to only accept praise and to reject destructive words. How many times has someone complimented you, only for you to say something negative about yourself back? While you may think this is humble, it’s really only hurting you as it reinforces the mind’s negative beliefs about yourself, whether you consciously realize it or not. So the next time someone gives you a compliment, stop hindering your happiness and just take it! On the other hand, if someone says something negative to you or about you, choose not to let it in. If someone told you they hated you because you were an alien from Mars, would it hurt you all that much? No, because you know without a doubt that what they said is not true. You would just think they are some crazy person talking nonsense. Therefore, if you know without a doubt that their intentionally hurtful words, whatever they may be, (“You are so stupid, I hate you, nobody likes you, etc.”) aren’t true, then you can brush them off and move on about your day, completely unaffected.

Do you ever find yourself upset because you feel unappreciated or not acknowledged? What do you wish others would say to you? Do you wish your boss would tell you what a great job you’ve done, or do you wish your partner would tell you how attractive you are? Instead of waiting around for others to say it to you, say it to yourself. Yes, it might feel fake and forced at first, but over time it will rewire you mindset and will become a part of your core belief system. And again, if you do this, then you won’t crave outside validation in order to feel okay with yourself, because you will already be okay with yourself.

Your mind responds to two things, the pictures you make in your head and the words you say to yourself. Think about it- the things you’ve done in your life that beforehand you felt extremely excited about- what were you telling yourself? What were you picturing in your mind? I highly doubt if you went into something feeling excited that you were picturing embarrassment, failure, death, or any other negative scenario prior to the actual event. I also highly doubt that you were telling yourself how afraid you were, or how stupid you were going to look while doing it. You can’t have negative thoughts and a happy life!

So often, we wonder why we say we want something, but when the time comes around to do it, we feel another way. It’s all because of the pictures we have created in our head and the words we have said to ourselves about the situation.

Want to get in shape but never do? What have you been telling yourself?

If it is along the lines of “I want to workout….but it’s so hard, I don’t have time, I don’t feel like it, I dread exercising, I’m so out of shape it will take forever to reach my goals… etc.” Then guess what? Your mind thinks, “Working out?! You make that sound hard and painful. My job is to avoid all things painful. Therefore, I’m not going to give you any motivation whatsoever to do it!” And thus, we don’t work out, or we give up very quickly upon starting.

Or perhaps you want to move up in your career, but it requires a great deal of harder work than you are used to, or public speaking which terrifies you, or something else that makes you uncomfortable. You think you want it so bad, but every time you get ready to go to work or do what you need to do to get to where you want to be, you start to feel sick. Headache, nauseous, shaky, whatever form it comes in for you…why do you feel this way? Well, once again, what have you been telling yourself or picturing in your mind about this situation? More than likely, the accumulation of negative thoughts and pictures are the cause of these feelings.

So what do you do when you want to do something, but you can’t get your motivation up or your fear down? Tell yourself, “I’m choosing to do this, I’m choosing to feel great about this. I want to work, I want to reach my goals. I enjoy doing everything it takes to get to where I want to be.” Your brain will work with you when it thinks it’s doing what you like or when it thinks it’s doing the choosing. So tell your brain what you want, don’t let it tell you. You are so much stronger than any thoughts that come to you. Eventually, after much practice, once your mind is familiar with positive thoughts, negative thoughts may try to come, but they won’t stick. Your mind will instantly reject them because they won’t be aligned with your core belief system that says you are enough, and therefore you will be able to wave them away without any sort of confusion or resistance.

In conclusion, tell yourself “I am enough” repeatedly, everyday. Write it down. Post it in random places around your house. Set an alert on your phone that tells you this, whatever helps you. I promise the more you see it and speak it, the more you will begin to believe it. And once you start to believe it, your whole life will change. You will be happier, satisfied, and more confident. I am a prime example of someone who was always anxious, always unhappy, super insecure, and to be honest, felt quite hopeless. Now, I am the opposite of all of those things. Learning to love myself set me free.

To learn more about the concept of ‘being enough’, watch the full-length video featured below!

Self-Love, Healing, and Growth: Top 5 Books to Read

Over the past year, I’ve read so many wonderful books about self-transformation and the power of love and positivity. Each of these books have all in some way taught me how to rewire my thinking in order to create a life filled with joy, peace, and freedom. Because I have been so changed by these books, I thought I would share a few of my favorites in hopes that they will enlighten you too!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.

-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

What it’s about: As the front cover suggests, Big Magic is about living a creative life. From this book, you’ll learn that living creatively doesn’t always have to mean painting, writing, or building something, unless that’s your thing. It just means doing what you love, as often as you can, and for no reason other than because you enjoy doing it. Gilbert discusses the idea that our creative ideas, desires, and inspirations are always out there, invisibly floating around, just waiting for someone to bring them to light, and that someone could definitely be you; you just have to believe and start! This book is filled with stories of how others used that magic to create their beloved work, as well as tips on how you can change your mindset and do the same for yourself.

Why I love it: This book motivated me to stop wasting time, and instead to just go ahead and get started doing what I love, now. It helped me realize that the things I’ve always dreamed about doing but never got around to aren’t just silly fantasies. I have those desires for a reason; they are just waiting for me to take action in order to make them a reality. This book was definitely a life-changer for me.

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

“To be able to look ahead while also celebrating now is a delicate kind of art, to imagine what could be without discounting what is.”

-Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday

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What it’s about: Simply Tuesday is a Christian-based book that teaches readers how to slow down while still managing to get things done in the fast-paced world we live in today. It teaches that more, bigger, or faster isn’t always better – especially if we aren’t leaving space in our lives for thing that really matter, like our family, creativity, and most importantly, Jesus. This book is filled with wonderful insights of grace and truth about life and God, and will leave you feeling light and refreshed after reading it.

Why I love it: I have always had the tendency to be a person who naturally rushes through life. I’m always thinking about what’s next, how much I have to do, and how fast I want to get things done. This book helped me realize it’s not only okay, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to slow down and take a breather. Simply Tuesday allowed me to see the tremendous beauty that can be found in the small, calm, and seemingly ordinary moments of life.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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What it’s about: The Power of Now is a book made to guide people through a total life transformation in order to reach their highest sense of self. If you aren’t absolutely serious about changing your life, or if you are not willing to expand your normal way of thinking and/or doing things, I do not recommend this book. The author is very straight-forward and brutally honest about what is so wrong with our minds. What he suggests doing to cure the diseases that ail our minds will be a bit of a stretch of the imagination for many, and is quite easy to blow off as nonsense if you aren’t serious. However, if you are open and willing to change, by reading this book you will discover that the key to the end of anxiety, pain, and suffering is to be found in being totally present every moment of your life. The only reason we ever experience any sort of suffering is because we are focusing too much on the past (depression), or too much on the future (anxiety), neither of which are controllable. Presence in the here and now is all we have, and it is all that matters.

Why I love it: My mind has been absolutely blown away by The Power of Now. I’m not even all the way finished with this book yet and have already felt a radical change within me. This book is not one to be read quickly. It contains many deep ideas that aren’t necessarily complex, they just require a great deal of focus in order to truly resonate. I will warn you, this book will more than likely bring up all kinds of strange feelings and emotions within you, because you are their home, you are what they feed off of, and thus, they are going to try to fight you in order to stay alive. But if you allow them to simply be, meaning just feel them and observe them, instead of fighting or judging them, then you will discover the power within you to defeat them. So, if you are ready to finally drop all of the unnecessary baggage you have been carrying around within you for probably far too long, if you are ready to be free of the mind and its mental traps of fear and depression, then this book is definitely for you!

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

-Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass

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What it’s about: You Are a Badass is about how to stop feeling sorry for yourself and being ashamed of what you want, and instead how to embrace who you truly are so that you can begin loving your life. Sincero explains that it is totally useless to continue hating ourselves or shying away from our uniqueness. In fact, your uniqueness is the gift you have to bring to the world. No one ever did anything great by being the same as everyone else, or by staying in their comfort zone. This book teaches you how to stop being afraid of the discomforting challenges life brings, and instead how to go after what you want, with no apologies or regrets.

Why I love it: This one was an easy, enjoyable read, and a huge confidence-booster. I often find myself randomly picking it up when I’m not feeling so great about myself, and after reading just a few pages it always helps get my mindset right again. It’s definitely one of my favorite books!

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

“Separating from love means that you deny the presence of a higher power (the presence of the Universe) and learn to rely on your own power to feel safe. The moment you choose to disconnect from the loving presence of the Universe, you lose sight of the safety, security, and clear guidance that is otherwise available to you. The moment you realign with love and stop relying on your own strength, clear direction will be presented. The presence of love will always cast out fear.”

-Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

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What it’s about: The Universe Has Your Back is filled with inspiring examples of people who have radically changed their lives by changing their beliefs. This book contains several guided meditations that teach readers how to silence the chaos, doubts and fears that plague the mind. From reading this book, you will learn that the end of fear begins with love. Staying constantly connected with the universe (God), and choosing to see everything though love, will ultimately lead you to a life you love.

Why I love it: I discovered Gabrielle Bernstein by listening to some of the talks she’s given online and was extremely drawn to her teachings, so naturally I decided to start reading one of her books. Bernstein used to be an addict but is now over a decade sober, and is helping people all over the world transform their lives. She is a great example of how anyone, no matter where they came from or what they’ve done in the past, can rise above and create a brand new life, filled with light, love, and joy. I recommend any of her online teachings or books to those seeking peace, wisdom, and enlightenment.

 

So that’s my list! There are so many more I want to include, but for time’s sake I will wait for another post. However, I’m always looking for new books to read, so what are some of your favorites?! Let me know in the comment section! As always, keep checking back for more posts! ❤