In-between the Lines of Communication

As we carry out our daily lives, we are in constant communication with others. There are many different types of communication – verbal, non-verbal, written, etc. We are communicating with the world around us even when we do not intend to do so. When we think of communication, we probably instantly think of two or more people talking, however communication goes far beyond that. Communication is such a key to our lives, it serves many purposes.

Communication is so important to us and our well-being. It is so powerful that it has the ability to make or break us. The only true way that others know how we are feeling is how we express ourselves and our emotions. This is the base of human bonding and relationships. When we share how we feel and let our needs and wants be known, it helps us to have a peaceful heart and mind. It is sometimes very difficult to communicate things that are in our hearts and on our mind. We may fear the reaction of others, we may not want to start an argument, sometimes we may not even be able to express or convey our wants. It can be very detrimental to not share and communicate with others. Unresolved issues and communication issues are extremely damaging to oneself and their loved ones. I’m sure that a lot of us can recall a time where we didn’t speak up for ourselves, or we didn’t speak the whole truth, how did that make you feel? For me, this causes me a lot of stress and anxiety. It does not make me feel good about myself.

We are also communicating and sending out cues to others constantly without even trying. Our body language gives big clues on how we are feeling. Our facial expressions often can give away our emotions before we even say anything at all. The way we position our hands, our feet, our body, which way we are facing, all can convey interest or a desire for another to back away. Without thinking, we are constantly taking in information from others, this includes both verbal and non-verbal.

I am still trying everyday to better myself and to express myself. I recognize the importance of effective communication both in my professional and personal life and have seen what a lack of communication or miscommunication can do. It is up to us to express our feelings and desires, there is no other way for other individuals to know how we are truly feeling if we do not. It is equally important for us to ask questions and make sure that others are being heard. It is my hope that we can all speak our minds, because there aren’t many things in life as freeing.

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The Power of Solitude

Once in a while we get the chance to sit alone with pin-drop silence. Most of our days are filled with the hustle and bustle of work, families, and other responsibilities that leave us in a near constant state of commotion. It is in these peaceful moments that we discover the power of solitude.

In life a lot of us, including myself, struggle with balance and this ultimately leads to a burnout. I feel as though balancing rest and work in today’s world is even more difficult. I am the first to admit that I burnout quickly and I require more downtime than most people. I believe this is due to me being a very “sensitive” person and I process life very deeply. I sometimes wish that I didn’t absorb so much energy and emotions as it is quite draining.

When we are with others, so much of our energy and focus are on other people. We keep up with the demands of relationships, work, school, and we are depleted of energy before we make time for ourselves. We need to learn to put ourselves first, because if we are not physically and mentally sound, we cannot possibly give our all in life. Think of the last time that you sat alone outside by the water, drank a cup of tea or coffee in your recliner with no one else home, took a walk in nature just you and the universe. How did that make you feel? I am guessing that for a lot of us, that feeling would be whole, peaceful, renewed, uplifted, and relaxed. I do understand for some that being alone may trigger fear, sadness, and loneliness. Some individuals are alone most if not all of the time and they crave human interaction. It’s all about balance. There were times that I was alone so much that I was depressed and craved companionship, I’ve also been in times where I was around so many people that I just wanted to hide away from the world and be by myself.

Solitude brings about both peace and strength. There is something so beautiful about being at one with yourself, feeling yourself breathe, and having no outside stimulation from the world. One can process thoughts and emotions and find peace in just existing. On the other hand, solitude requires strength as it is not exactly how humans are “hardwired.” There are individuals of course who are introverted and I do find myself becoming more introverted as I age. Solitude is also when we are forced to face our demons. Whether you prefer being alone, surrounded by people, or a mix, please make more time to do what you love and what renews and refreshes your soul. Your mind and body are so precious and we need to put ourselves first so that we can be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. Just a few minutes a day set aside just for you can make all the difference in the world.

Calling Compassion

Have you ever wondered how different this world could be if we all learned to have respect and compassion for others? So many of our world’s problems stem from a lack of compassion for mankind. Sometimes we may be stressed, or caught up in our own lives, and we may forget just how much of an impact our words and actions have on someone else.

I am sure that most of us can recall moments in our lives where we have felt disrespected or unimportant. We may have been bullied at school or at work, we may have confided in a friend who didn’t seem to care much about what we had to say. We could have experienced loneliness that made us feel unworthy. The smallest gestures – a smile, a nod, a handshake, a hug, even a kind word, or simple hello can bring so much happiness to someone’s day. Kind gestures can foster trust between two people, you never know if you may be the only person who has shown such kindness to that individual in a long time. I recently spoke with someone who said that I was the first person to give her a compliment for as long as she could remember, I was surprised and saddened by this.

Compassion not only makes the receiving individual happy, but being the one showing love and compassion to others is such a boost to our own happiness. Helping others is so fulfilling and rewarding. We don’t truly know what is going on in other people’s lives, they are fighting battles that we may know nothing about. An act of kindness no matter how small goes a long way. If we could all learn to get along and show love, or at the very least respect, this world would be a much better place. We are not going to like everyone that we encounter in our lives, but at the very least, there should be a mutual level of respect as human beings. Sometimes that is very difficult especially if another individual has done us wrong, but if we choose compassion, we won’t have to live with such negativity in our hearts and on our conscience.

There are many ways to show compassion to others. A smile, a conversation, a comforting hug, a card, a text or call to check in, even just listening to someone and offering your time. There are times that we get so caught up in the everyday that we forget the impact that we make on others unless they tell us. No matter what we are facing, we should always choose to press forward with love in our hearts, it can make a difference to your world and mine.

What a Difference a Day Makes

We wake up and go about our daily routines not knowing exactly what each day will hold for us. We navigate through life with the skills that we have learned. We have our good days, our bad days, the days that fall somewhere in-between. I’m sure that most of us wake up with some sort of plan for the day. Until it happens, we don’t tend to think too much of the unexpected. Life can hit us without a moments notice, our lives can be flipped upside down, or require a lot of our attention.

One of the beautiful yet scary things about life is that we truly don’t know what will happen moment to moment. This is a good example of why we should try to remain positive and keep going. We may be depressed or stuck in a rut, we might feel like our life will never ever change, but there is going to be a day that it changes, because if life promises one thing, it’s that it is ever-changing. We must hold onto hope even in our darkest hours. Think of whatever keeps you going no matter how small and focus on that.

Sometimes we just have what some of us call “a day.” Things don’t seem to go our way, we feel like the world is against us, we might have a huge decision to make, we may have fought with someone that we love, our job may be on the line. Whatever we are facing, it’s important to realize what a difference a day makes. When something happen to us, we often experience certain emotions as a reaction. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Our minds and hearts start racing, we say and do things that we don’t mean. It is definitely difficult, but extremely important when facing situations to take a step back, analyze what’s in front of us, and process our emotions and why we could be feeling a particular way. Often times, we react too quickly and it can leave us with definite consequences.

A new day gives us a blank slate, a new start, a fresh look at what’s in front of us. We can look at life and situations more logically without our emotions ruling our thoughts and actions. Oftentimes what appears like a mountain one day can appear like a small bump in the road the next. As life has taught us thus far, we are strong, we are survivors, and we can get through anything that life will end up throwing at us.

5 Greatest Life Lessons I’ve Learned

Life is an everyday learning experience and we are constantly evolving and adapting in order to create the best life that we possibly can. I am continuously learning about myself and the world around me, however I have come up with five lessons that I have learned that have helped me tremendously with personal growth.

  1. Take care of yourself mentally and physically. This probably seems obvious, but something that most of us don’t pay enough attention to. We do such a great job of taking care of others, we also need to remember to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. It’s very difficult to go through life’s demands when we don’t feel sound as a human being. Taking full care of ourselves allows us to live life easier and fuller. Physically, we can eat a balanced diet, make sure that we are drinking enough water, exercise, or keep active in general. We can keep up with selfcare that helps us feel our best. Mentally we can take breaks when we feel overwhelmed, even if it’s a short coffee break, any sort of break lets us recharge. Everyone has a limit and it’s good to recognize when you are getting burned out so that it can be stopped in its tracks. Go for a walk, not only does this help physically, but also helps greatly at clearing our minds. Just being in nature is so refreshing and helps remind us that we are part of an amazing universe. Pamper yourself – take a hot bath, get a massage, take a course, pick up a hobby, etc. When we are mentally and physically whole we can take on anything!
  2. Stop worrying about things that you cannot control. Okay, this is a difficult one, especially for me, but I have learned ways to implement this. It’s so easy for anxiety and worry to take over, then one thought or worry snowballs into another and another. Worrying is a valid human emotion, however we can do ourselves a favor by focusing and putting our energy into things that we do have control over. Worrying about the unknown or uncontrollable aspects of our lives, robs us of the energy that we need to focus on what we can change. I believe in fate and I believe that what’s meant to be will be, this helps me sit back, relax, and breathe. When a worry or situation strikes I ask myself: Do I have control over this? If I do, well I can figure out an action plan and if I don’t, then I try to take the situation day by day and try to give up that control. I also analyze the situation to see what I can do and what my options are.
  3. Share your energy wisely. As much as we sometimes like to think of ourselves as superheroes, we are human beings that have limits and a limited amount of energy reserves. Life alone can be very draining of these reserves, so one tip that I have learned over the years is to be careful who I share my energy with. If you are around negative people, or people that bring you down, this will deplete your energy overtime. On the contrast, surrounding yourself with supportive and uplifting people can do wonders for your wellbeing. It’s human nature to want to care for others, but we should be cautious where we expend our energy.
  4. Don’t take things personally. Not so easy to do right? Someone says or does something that hurts or offends us and we take it to heart. We start to think what’s wrong with me? Does anyone like me? Is this individual acting this way because of me? We may feel like we are at fault and are the root cause of problems. The truth is, most of what people say isn’t about us at all, it’s about the other individual. Lots of times our worry and fear make us extra sensitive and we can view what’s happening incorrectly, making us question ourselves, and lowering our self-esteem. During these times, we must step back, analyze the situation, and try to understand that most likely the reactions and thoughts of others are in fact only fears, projections, and emotions of the other individual that they need to work through.
  5. Follow your instincts. We were born with instinct. We hear phrases like “follow your heart,” and “do what feels right.” Some people have a stronger intuition than others. There are claims that intuition can be built upon and made stronger. Often times, these innate feelings are subconscious and other times it’s like the message is clear as day. These gut feelings are there for a reason: to warn us, inform us, help us, guide us, etc. Most often, that little, or should I say big voice inside of us is accurate.

I really hope that you have found these helpful!

Decisions: You Have the Power

Life is full of choices and the decisions that we make can have a great impact on our lives. We go through life everyday making decisions big and small. We encounter situations that we don’t give much thought to and ones that make us dwell on them for days. We are faced with decisions from the moment we wake up to the time that we go to bed. We have to decide what to have for breakfast, which route to take to work, where we spend our money, how we spend our day, what time we go to bed at night, etc. We are always faced with some sort of choice to make and that choice will ultimately lead us to another situation and possibly another choice!

One can spend hours, days, months, or years debating and contemplating a decision, especially one that has the ability to change our lives forever. I was recently faced with one of the greatest decisions that I have ever had to make in my life and I want to share how I reached that decision. It took months, but after careful analyzing of the situation, I knew I had made the right choice.

Most likely, when you are faced with a certain situation, your mind will be running in all directions and will probably feeling a bit like a hamster running on a wheel. One thought leads to another, that leads to another, and so on. Once we reach the point that we know that we are faced with a situation or decision, and we can calm down after that initial stage of anxiety, panic, sadness, whatever emotion we are feeling, then we can begin to look at the situation more logically without having our emotions rule most of our decision-making.

Step one when I need to make a big decision is a pro/con list. I can think of the positives and negatives in my head, but to write it out on paper gives me a true visual image. Sometimes when you try to name positives and negatives for a particular choice, you feel like each side is pretty equal until you write it all down and realize that there really is no case…there is a clear winner! After looking at the pros/cons of a decision, I then look at each option and think if I chose that option, what possibilities could that lead me to? If I don’t choose that option, what could that mean for me and my future? Of course, we cannot always know how things will play out in life, but we may be able to get an idea of the possibilities and that could help aide us in our decision-making.

We all have different views and opinions about life and circumstances and this is just mine, but I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason. Life seems to fit together so perfectly like pieces of a puzzle and as it unfolds we can often see why a particular event didn’t occur, or why we are no longer with someone that we loved. We have to go through certain events to make us stronger and more knowledgeable, they help us grow as a person. I believe that we all have a life path that was created just for us, we are all on our own unique journey, but we are here to learn, grow, and help each other through it.

Feel free to comment on any recent decisions that you have had to make and I wish you all the best of luck as we navigate through life!