Keeping Faith through Discomfort

Compared to who I was even just a year ago, I am totally changed. I no longer wake up in the morning fearing how bad my anxiety is going to be that day, or wondering in what physical way anxiety is going to manifest itself in my life. However, every now and then, anxiety tries to sneak its way in. Since I am easily able to spot anxiety for what it is now, it often uses various disguises in hopes that I won’t catch onto it until it’s too late. One of the most common disguises anxiety uses with me comes through the form of dread.

Dread has been a prevalent feeling throughout my life. Even as a young child I remember always dreading some future event. Only within the past year or so have I realized that dread is an extension of anxiety.

I often dread doing simple things, like going to the grocery store, going to the bank, or making a work related phone call. (Thankfully no longer because I’m worried about having a panic attack while I do them, which used to be a daily reality). I also dread bigger things like starting a new job, events where I’ll be doing some public speaking, or long-term planning for my future.

Whenever I start to feel dread within me, along tags its best friend avoidance. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve sabotaged my own mental health because I put off tasks until the last second possible because I felt a sense of dread toward doing them.

After a minor inner breakdown I experienced recently because of issues I caused myself through avoiding important tasks I needed to complete, I finally stopped and reflected.

I went back to the root of the problem and I asked myself, “Why am I avoiding these things? Where is this feeling coming from?”

I quickly saw that these seemingly simple tasks caused immense dread within me. I then asked myself why I was feeling so much dread. What is it about these tasks that makes me feel so anxious that I avoid doing them altogether?

I came to the conclusion that it’s not even that I am afraid of these tasks themselves.
Like I said, I’ve worked really hard toward my mental health and I no longer fear having a panic attack or getting sick all the time when out in public. It simply comes down to not feeling like putting in the work to do these things.

This isn’t the real me, though. The real me, my true inner self, wants the best for me and thus, wants me to get stuff done. Instead it is my ego (you might think of the ego as the devil) holding me back, keeping me lazy and complacent, because it doesn’t want me to move forward anytime soon in my life. And why? Because if I did, it knows that each time I faced a task that I ‘dread’ doing, I would get closer to completing God’s will for my life, and it obviously doesn’t want that to happen. So it sends dread to me, in hopes to prevent me from reaching out to fulfill my calling.

I understand this now, and it’s always nice to bring this truth back into my awareness. However, the discomfort and dread is still there. So I have created a list of four things to remember when I need to accept the discomfort and move through it, rather than around it. To be honest, there really is no way around discomfort if you ever want to get anywhere significant in life. Every time you try to go forward, it will keep popping back up through different people or situations. So, you might as well go through it now! Now is all we ever really have anyway.

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1. Stay connected. I cannot stress this enough. I know when we are being challenged the only thing we usually want to do is lay in bed, curl up into a ball and forget about the hard stuff coming our way. The last thing we feel like doing is taking time to pray or meditate. However, these are the very things we need and the only things that will get us us back on track.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed that many times I’ll be having a series of good days, where things are going really well for me, and I am all too often tempted to not workout or meditate because I don’t feel like I need it. I’m feeling good so obviously I can skip it just this once, right? Well, once usually turns into several days, and before I know it, I feel like crap again. Sound familiar?!

This is why we MUST stay connected. During the good and bad times. It is the only way to keep the peace even when our outside circumstances are anything but peaceful. For me I stay connected through prayer, meditation, yoga, working out, reading books about positivity and spirituality, listening to music, writing, or being out in nature. Whatever works for you is fine, the key is to just do something to stay connected to the source! Otherwise, you will quickly deplete your supply and thus, keep reinforcing the cycle of negativity in your life.

 
2. Know that challenges aren’t bad, they’re simply strength builders sent to help you grow. I have believed the lie for far too long that if I’m feeling some level of discomfort, that the situation causing the discomfort must not be right for me. I used to take it as a sign that I was on the wrong path and that I needed to run away– fast. However, I’ve come to find that discomfort is usually a good sign that I am exactly where I need to be. If you find yourself feeling this way it simply means that you are growing!

God often sends discomfort or disruption into our lives to keep us from staying stagnant. He loves us too much to keep us where we are. If we never had anything come into our lives and upset everything around us, what would be our incentive to change? More than likely, we would never change if we always stayed comfortable. Sometimes God sends discomfort because it is the only way to annihilate negativity or fear-based thoughts (lies) from our lives. It brings these lies out of dormancy and makes us aware of them, which is ultimately the only way we can get rid of it.

Growth is challenging at times, I’m not denying that. And just like with any physical workout, it stretches you and takes you beyond anywhere you’ve been before. If it’s easy, you aren’t doing it right! The process of growth is hard, but once you’ve completed the challenge you will be so glad you did it and you will never the same. So don’t run away from hard times. Don’t complain about how hard they are either. Instead, see them as opportunities sent from God for your personal growth. Every challenge has a miracle hidden beneath its surface!

 
3. Know that peace only comes after obedience. We often wait or at least want to wait until we feel peace about a decision before stepping out and doing it. We believe that if we don’t feel a sense of peace (comfort) about it, or that if it doesn’t make sense logically, then it must not be God’s will.

However, a motto I always strive to live by is that ‘it’s not faith if you use your eyes’. God wants us to live by faith, and he typically won’t send us peace before we do something, because that shows no faith. All that shows is a trust in comfort and complacency rather than a trust in God. But God is that still, small voice within us that often makes no logical sense whatsoever saying, “No, do it first, and then you will feel the peace you long for.”

Peace comes after obedience, not before. You will feel peace afterward knowing that you went by faith and not by sight and trusted in God instead of logic. You will feel peace when you believe the truth that he wants the best for you, and that ultimately his ways are higher and more knowledgeable than our ways. We must always remember that he see the entire picture of our lives from his vantage point; we don’t. We don’t have all the details yet. Knowing this, we can easily move forward in discomfort, trusting that he is bringing the highest good for all through it, and that he will make a way even when there seems to be none.

 

4. Know that resistance blocks the flow of God in our lives. When we resist what is now (our present circumstances/conditions), or when we resist what we need to do in the near future, we are only getting in the way of God’s plan. Our resisting thoughts literally block the easy flow of God’s energy through us. This doesn’t mean the situation itself is easy, but when we obey God through surrendering to what is, instead of resisting it or wanting what we don’t have, we begin to feel an ease and a peace inside, regardless of the degree of difficulty on the outside.

Somehow our spirit’s seem to ‘just know’ when we are in our flow. It cannot be explained or comprehended, only felt. When we feel dread, tension, anxiety, anger or stress within ourselves, these are all clear signs that the channel through which God’s life energy can flow through us is blocked. The good news is that we can easily return to the life source within us through a simple prayer such as, “I witness that I am being blocked by fear. I forgive myself, and I return to love right now. I choose to see this situation through love.” A quick prayer like this can easily change your whole mindset and put you back on the path of love, where life flows through you freely and you don’t have to dread anything because you know that God has your back.

“I witness that I am being blocked by fear. I forgive myself, and I return to love right now. I choose to see this situation through love.”

What allows ordinary people to accomplish things that seem extraordinary is that they do the things others are unwilling to do. They know that talent alone won’t save them. There are so many talented people who let their dreams die young because they don’t want to put in the effort. They don’t want to be noticed. They don’t want people to talk about them. They don’t want to be uncomfortable. They want an easy ride, and if it doesn’t come easy they don’t believe it’s meant to happen. While of course belief is key to accomplishing a goal, actions are absolutely necessary too.

I refuse to let my dreams die. I refuse to settle for a mediocre life. I refuse to live only for the weekends. I refuse to live paycheck to paycheck. Therefore, I must rid myself of complacency, procrastination, dread, and yes, even my comfort, so that I can live out my dreams and make room for God’s will. Remembering these four things I’ve listed above every day will help me do just that, and I hope they will help you too!

So what about you? What do you do when you feel anxiety, dread, or even just a lack of motivation begin to rise up within you? If you have any tips, please share! I look forward to hearing from you! As always, feel free to share this blog if you resonated with it in any way.

Sending love and light your way,

Kara ❤

Nine Ways to Transform Your Life

Happy Friday everyone!

To be honest, I had a few posts I wanted to write this week but I’ve been seriously lacking the motivation to get them done. Although I’m not feeling super inspired, I don’t want to go completely MIA this week, so to compromise I thought I’d do a quick post where I share something that I’ve discovered recently that’s radically changed my life.

Last week I wrote a post about the concept of ‘believing you are enough’, which I discovered from psychologist Marisa Peer. This week, I am going to do a continuation of that post and Marisa’s teachings by sharing nine things you must do if you want to change your thoughts and mastermind your life. To find out how continue reading below! 🙂

Nine Ways to Transform Your Life

  1. Believe you alone are enough, and tell yourself this everyday. This belief is the foundation upon which all of the other beliefs you need are built. If you don’t accept this phrase as absolute truth for yourself, no amount of positive thinking will work. (For more about this, see my most recent post.)
  2. Praise yourself. Don’t wait for or depend upon other people’s praise to be happy. For one, you might be waiting awhile, and two, it honestly doesn’t matter what they think. If you know you are awesome, you don’t need anyone else telling you! Besides, you already have everything you need within you to live a joy-filled life.
  3. Reject all destructive criticism. Any thought or word not filled with love is a lie that breaks you down and hinders your growth! Refuse to let negative poison (yours or other’s) infect your life any longer.
  4. Your brain does exactly what it thinks you want it to do, so whenever you have to do something challenging or unpleasant, instead of complaining tell yourself, “I want to do this, I like doing this, I am choosing to do this.” I promise it really works! Think about it this way: when we say things like, “I’d rather die than give that presentation,” or, “God I dread going to work tomorrow,” we are essentially telling our minds that we don’t want to do those things. The crazy part is that we then we wonder why we end up feeling sick or anxious all them time…um, hello! It’s because your mind listens to everything you tell it and you are filling it with negativity and lies! Therefore, never say “I DON’T want to do something” that you have to do anyway, because your mind will fight against you when the time comes to do it. A big life-changer for me was instead of saying “I’m so nervous” before a difficult situation, I now say “I’m so excited!”. It sounds too simple to actually work, but I am living proof that it does.
  5. Know that your brain always works to move you toward pleasure and away from pain. This one goes right along with number 4. Start telling your mind that working toward your goals is fun and enjoyable, and to not do so is painful. Write it down, speak it aloud, whatever method works best for you, just make sure you continuously do it. Overtime you will rewire your brain and it will begin to work with you, rather than against you.
  6. Realize the way you think and feel is determined by two things: the pictures you make in your head and the words you say to yourself. If you want to feel better, be more confident, achieve a goal, etc., start picturing and telling yourself positive things that don’t contradict what you want to achieve. Visualize what you want and speak about it as if you already have it.
  7. Be willing to do challenging and/or uncomfortable things in order to get what you want. Life may not be 100% ideal for you right now, but don’t get depressed or ungrateful because of this. See everything in your journey as a necessary stepping stone to get you to where you want to be, even if it doesn’t make sense yet. Life will not feel so strenuous when you realize that your current situation is only temporary.
  8. Don’t take no for an answer. It is guaranteed that you will get rejected from time to time if you are putting yourself out there. It’s happened to every single person who has ever accomplished anything great. The only difference between them and most other people was they kept pushing through the trials and adversity they faced along the way. They didn’t let any rejection stop them, so don’t let it stop you either!
  9. Take action every single day. No matter how seemingly small, take it. Even the smallest step taken keeps some momentum going. On the other hand, it is very easy to lose inspiration and give up altogether if you take a good deal of time off. You will absolutely make progress if you take action everyday, so keep going!

 

That’s all for me today! What thoughts or actions have you taken to rewire your thinking or transform your life? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

 

P.s. Click below to watch the full-length video!

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! ❤