Archives for posts with tag: perception

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Sometimes inconvenient interruptions are exactly what you need to make your day a little more perfect.

I live on a farm.  Every once in a while someone breaks down on the road by our place and they trundle in looking for help or a phone or directions.

The other day a woman ran out of gas and came a knocking (my door bell apparently is’t working).

I walked to the door trying to quiet my barking dog, wiping my hands and sighing because yet another interruption.  I’d had enough of those already to last an entire lifetime let alone a day.

I opened the door.  She had this big smile and a big hello.  She’d run out of gas and left her phone at home.  The smile, the situation, suddenly for some reason I just connected with her.  Maybe it’s because I could have seen the exact same thing happening to me.  And if it did, I’d want a safe, warm place to ask for help.  Maybe I just needed the smile and the hello.  I don’t know for sure, but whatever it was, I happily invited her in and offered her a coffee while she sorted things out. She introduced herself, April. I’ve always liked that name. Thoughts of spring flowers and gentle warm rain showers, rebirth and renewal.

It’s one of those things that I will forever be happy I did.  We spent over an hour together, getting to know each other, finding all sorts of things in common and laughing.  Oh how we laughed.  Almost like old friends.  Within an hour we even had inside jokes. I felt so relaxed, at ease. Finally her rescuer arrived with gas and her phone and off she went. We laughed some more as we said good-bye and I waved as they drove away.

I closed the door and realized I felt so relaxed and at ease. I felt completely in the zone. As I leaned against the door smiling I realized that it was a truly beautiful moment. And as with many beautiful moments, it contained a lesson.

When April ran out of gas and had no phone, she wasn’t thinking abundantly good thoughts.  When the knock came at my door, I was dreading yet another interruption.  But when I opened that door, I allowed a wonderful experience into my day. Our perceptions hadn’t been true and thankfully we were both willing to allow something better to unfold for us.  Running out of gas and having an interruption actually turned into something incredibly beautiful.  It created a situation for two souls to be touched, for two people to meet and for the day to be even more brilliantly bright than it already was.

Seeing beautiful and rising like air really is all about perspective and how you choose to look at things.  There’s that word again…. CHOOSE.  That’s really what life is all about, the choices we make. And it’s not about choices even being good or bad or right or wrong.  It’s about what you do with them.  And that my friends, is always up to you and you alone. It’s always your choice.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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So I got this really cool Christmas gift from my daughter.  A hand made, hand bound journal.  It was a school project.  I heard about the idea.  I heard about the process.  And then I didn’t hear anything. I asked how it was coming and if I’d get to see it. She mumbled something vague and while I was curious, I have to admit, I sort of forgot about it.

And then I opened the gift.  She’s always worried about whether the recipient of her kindness will be happy. You can see the apprehension in her face. She had nothing to worry about.

She couldn’t have picked or made anything more perfect, right down to the colour, one of my favourites, an earthy green.  Like most creative types, after ensuring that I actually liked it, and then double checking to make sure I really, really liked it, she was quick to point out what hadn’t quite gone right. All I could see was beauty and perfection in all its imperfect glory.

How To Be Happy

 

How

To

Be

Happy

 

I opened it.

Blank pages.

Perfect.

Really, I mean it.

Why?

Because for each of us happiness is a little different, a little unique, a little personal.

There is no self help book, advice column or guru that will grant us happiness. All they can do is provide ideas, guidance, mind opening dialogue. We write our own happiness.  We choose it.  We define it.  We create it.

Spoiler Alert:

It comes from within.  It always comes from within first.  We write our own happiness. If we rely on it coming from outside we will always be disappointed because while what is outside of us can enhance our joy and happiness, it is transitory, temporary and fickle.  Only what is inside us, that little spark we fan into a flame, that’s what is with us always.  That is what can always at some point and in some way be fanned back to life.  Learning to love ourselves within suddenly begins to make changes in what we see outside ourselves.  Our perceptions change. Happiness isn’t a 24/7 euphoric high. Happiness is a state of mind, a chosen state of mind. One that takes a little time and effort to achieve, a little time to allow our perspective and our perceptions to align. To see beautiful in everything. To realize that happiness isn’t dependent on “good things”, it’s dependent simply on attitude. The attitude that no matter what, I will CHOOSE to find the good, the beauty and the happy. Even when it’s hard, elusive and frustrating. Because I know it’s there, whether I choose to see it or embrace it or not.  It’s there. My choice.  Always my choice.

The blank pages, unwritten, waiting for me to write my own happiness.

When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Harley Davidson

It reminded me of one of my favourite songs, another power anthem by Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined. I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned… I break tradition, sometimes my tries are outside the lines. We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way. Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window, let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.

So this little journal is my adventure in how to be happy.  It’s unwritten.  It’s ending completely unplanned. Only one thing that’s guaranteed, it will be happy.

And guaranteed, many of my tries will definitely be outside the lines.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Words of wisdom for all of us from a friend and guest blogger Khurram Shahzad.

 

Hello Everyone!
First of all I’m not a first language English speaker so please forgive any grammatical or spelling mistake.
I would just like to take a minute and talk on the topic of “opportunities”.
Opportunities are our chances at life. In our life we set a goal and we pursue those goals and these opportunities are our chances to finally get our reward.
And believe me, as i speak from personal experience, opportunities are very rare so never ever let them slip by. Whenever they knock, get up and take them because you never know if you will get another. Life is full of twists and turns and you never know which breath might be your last. 

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So go out there, live your life like it was your last day. Make the most of it. Don’t ever turn away thinking that what will others think because believe me this is your life and you should only care what you think. 


Psychology says that the biggest regret of people on their death beds is not what they did, it’s what they didn’t do. 

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So my point being that please live life to the fullest. If you like someone, go tell them. If you have a dream job, go get it. Don’t EVER give up on your dream. When I was 9 i think I once interviewed a doctor for a project and she told me that perseverance commands success so I should never give up on what I believe in. 

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Thank you for taking the time to read this, i just felt like sharing this thought with someone. Have a blessed day!

 

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Eating Disorder Services: "MIRROR" Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

Eating Disorder Services: “MIRROR” Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington 

Believing is Seeing.  What are your beliefs showing you?

A quiet killer, often hidden by baggy clothes and popularly supported in the dark recesses of the internet.  An addiction to being thin at any cost, even their lives.  When the line to good judgement has been blurred, the spiral begins.  This is an illness that has created a community that doesn’t help each other get better.  Instead, they help each other get sicker.

Antonia Eriksson has traveled this path herself and is recovering.  Her opinion of thinsperational accounts is clear.

“They’re really dangerous,” she says.  Eriksson is now in recovery from anorexia, and runs an Instagram account and blog focused on fitness and healthy eating. But back then, she was easily triggered into unhealthy behaviour by those images. “It would help me in my eating disorder, like in the most negative way… It would keep me sick,” she says.

via Pro-anorexia, bulimia communities thriving online – Health – CBC News.

I’d like to say this trend comes as a surprise, or that I’d never even heard of such a thing but of course that’s not the case.    I worry about my own children and their self image and how these sites and associated hashtags influence them. Trying on a pair of skinny jeans the other day my daughter lamented, “But my calves are too fat!”   She is in perfect physical shape and size for her body.  I reminded her that she’s just fine.  The jeans were just made for a different body.  Let’s face it the very nature of skinny jeans is a challenge.  It was obvious her first thought wasn’t that the jeans were wrong, it was that her body was wrong.

On one hand, when it comes to “thinspiration”,   it seems obvious that anyone with “half a brain” would “know better”.  But that’s not really what it’s all about after all. Whether a person is spiralling into a gloomy pit from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, PTSD or abuse there is one thing that everyone has in common.  They’ve crossed a line from the reality of  “normal” most of us know to a reality the rest of us don’t share. You would think they should be able to simply step back over that line but it doesn’t work that way.  Slipping over the line to illness seems so easy, but taking that one step back sometimes feels impossible.  Spoiler alert – it might be the biggest challenge you face in life but it isn’t impossible.

These thinspo accounts are like putting a line of coke in front of an addict, it’s fills the need and there is almost no way that the addict will be able to resist on their own, at least not for long. In my opinion this is like an unrecovered alcoholic being the sponsor for another alcoholic.  Pretty much doomed to failure.  Instead of helping each other they are actually encouraging and empowering each other to continue the spiral into the disease.

The good news is that I see more and more sites and resources that are dealing with recovery, self care and hope. Healthy is in, skinny is out.  Unless of course you are naturally skinny, which some people are.  Then rock it and love it.

I’m glad that many social media sites are trying to make things better.

Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest have also attempted to circumvent users’ access to material that promotes self-harm. -CBC article

Dr. Rebecka Peebles, co-director of the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia… found that nearly 40 per cent of the sites included pro-recovery information. Many of the troubling Instagram posts also include pro-recovery tags: #EDrecovery, #ANAwarrior, #BeatANA.  She believes that reflects the nature of the disease. “Part of you wants to get better, and part of you wants to stay sick.” – CBC Article

We all know that there are different body types.  Within each type there is an infinite number of slightly different shapes and sizes.  They are normal.  They are healthy.  They are beautiful.  Instead of embracing this fact, we watch the photoshopped ads, the models that have countless groomers and preeners fawning over them, that have been selected because they have this very specific body type.  And don’t kid yourself, even though they are “perfect” in our eyes, the industry tells them they aren’t quite good enough, they have the same qualms and self doubts as all of us “average” girls (and guys) out there.

Don’t ever fool yourself that any of these images are put out there because big business really cares about you.  They care almost exclusively about making money.  Really, most of them don’t care at all about you.  I mean honestly, not at all.  Those ads with all those beautiful people are meant to do one thing.  Get money from you.  Period.  They don’t care if you become prettier, smarter, fatter, skinnier, healthier even if their fake smiles seem to say otherwise.

We all have our moments, or maybe lifetimes, of wishing “something” was different about us or our lives.  No one is completely immune.  Unless.

Unless you make the conscious choice to begin loving yourself AS YOU ARE TODAY.  With all your perfection and all your flaws (which by the way, are almost always your own opinion).

We are all perfectly imperfect.  Quit fighting it!  It’s a battle you will never win, and were never meant to.

No matter what you do, unless you can love yourself (or at least like yourself) as you are, nothing you do will satisfy you for long.  You will always come from a place of lack.  You don’t have to.  Just start seeing your own good, your own beauty little by little.  Trust that it’s there and you’ll find it.

I really do recommend taking time every single day to look at yourself and tell yourself you love you!  Find the little things that you can love.  Maybe it’s your smile, or a dimple, or the way your one eyebrow raises when you smile. Maybe it’s how you can make your mother laugh or your little sister asks for your help.

Like any addict, or someone with a habit that needs breaking, do it one step at a time.  And don’t beat yourself up for every single little misstep.  Work to stop following the propaganda and start following things that inspire you and give you hope to be all you can really be.  Ask for help.  Then ask again, and again and again.  Do not give up.  Be kind to yourself and others.  It’s a start, and that’s what has to happen first.  A start.  A very simple start.

Life and love are so much more than thigh gap, or protruding bones, or the vision of outer beauty.  

If that’s all you can focus on right now you are missing out on so much, actually all the wonderful awesome stuff. Need help?  That’s ok.  Recognizing it is the first step.  We all need help for something at sometime.  Don’t give up.  Keep looking, keep trying.

If you are overweight an unhealthy amount, and I do mean unhealthy, not your own jaded opinion, then yes, do something positive and constructive to move yourself to a place of health.  But do it because you love yourself and you are worth it.  And if you don’t believe that right now it’s ok.  Believe me.  You are worth it.  Change your focus from one of controlling yourself and your weight to one of loving yourself and working together with your body towards wonderful health.

If you still need some convincing, I encourage you to listen to Maya Angelou explain and read her poem “Still I Rise”. Never doubt, that you too can say, “Still I rise.”

Eriksson was once an #ANAwarrior. She started an Instagram account, which has since grown to nearly 40,000 followers, the day before she was hospitalized to document her six-week in-hospital treatment and recovery.

What she calls her Instagram family helped motivate her recovery. “I wanted to show them that it was possible,” she says. “So I just kept fighting it.” – CBC article

As Eriksson reminds us,  it is possible.  Don’t give up.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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