This weekend was an action packed weekend for me. I was busy all weekend with events both days, and events on top of events. I am very exhausted and ready to sleep for a week. This weekend I was helping my friends who own a shop, On Angel’s Wings in Bordentown, NJ, with their Cranberry Fest. Which was vendors set up along the street, selling their wares, and goods. I was there helping them run their table, and at the same time doing Angel Card readings alongside them. The event was two days, and would be from 11-5 AM. An all day event. It was estimated that hundreds if not thousand people would visit this event. THAT is a lot of people. So naturally my nerves were a little high.
Not really in being at the event, or being out. Surprisingly I was not really nervous about being out all day like that. I have come so far, and gone through so many adventures, it has helped me in being more comfortable in being out in public, and at events. I was nervous about how many readings could happen, and if I was ready for such an amount of people. Of course, I also sell myself short, being my own worst enemy at times, and in me thinking I couldn’t do it. That ego mind certainly likes to sabotage us all in our pursuits of happiness.
So naturally I was not going to allow my fears, anxieties, and insecurities get the better of me, and prevent me from stepping out of my comfort zone. I did the only thing I could do, use my Reiki healing, to help soothe my emotions, ground myself out, and bring in calming energy to my solar plexus, and heart, and bring in that calm serenity. And I did just that. I pulled out the anxiety/fear, and brought in calming, cooling energy, with the help of Archangel Raphael, and within minutes my anxiety was diminished, and I could become more relaxed, and serene, and ready for the day ahead of me. I was not even upset that I had to walk far because there was not much parking there at that point.
Once there I was ready and able to jump into helping them run their table for the day, and setting up, and walking around enjoying the festival as much as I can. The energy was intense there from all the people. At times it seemed like you would get swept up in the sea of people. Eventually I could get over my fears of this public event, and get myself into doing a few readings. Then when the event was over, I made it to my sister-in-laws parents house, for a birthday party for my niece. I didn’t even hesitate or think twice about going there and being there with all these family members.
I was even able to return the next day, and do even more readings. I was able to overcome my fears and anxieties about this event with the help of Reiki. I am constantly blown away by what Reiki can do, and help me with. I experience more and more with it, all the time, and I am truly only scratching the surface of this incredible healing modality.
If you would have told me two years ago I would be at a huge public event doing card readings for people, I would have never believed you. I would have thought you got bopped in the head. Yet, here I am, two years later, doing just that. And now I am looking at venues to get out there and do even more card readings. To really get myself out there. I am truly blown away by how far I have come over the past two years. When I set out back then, I had been planning on taking my first vacation in over a decade. I was so afraid of taking it. In that span of two years, I have managed to go to the Poconos twice, Washington D.C. once, and to Gettysburg. Four vacations in two years, and I can’t wait to see where I go next. Life has changed so much for me, and I am so thrilled to see how far I have come. And look to what I will do next. Because it will amaze me even more.
So stop making excuses. If you want a better life. Get out there and start working at it. It will be lot of hard work. There will be plenty of changes you will have to make. You will stumble. You will fall. You will cry. And you will get frustrated and scared, and want to quit. But I tell you what, you can push through all of that. You can get to the other side. You can have the life you’ve dreamed of, and even more than you ever thought. Life doesn’t always give us what we want. It gives us what we need. We learn. We grow. We better ourselves. We keep moving forward.
It has been a while since I have written anything on this blog. Yet it’s not for a lack of not going anywhere or doing anything. In fact, I have been all over the place these days, and have been really busy. I’m loving every moment of it. I just have not had much to write about and also have not had the time to really sit down and write.
Lately I have been doing some introspection on myself as I do that quite a lot. This journey, and this blog, have been about the healing of my life, and changing it for the better. The other day I was having some quiet time to myself and really just pondering on my life, my journey, how far I have come, and in letting go of things that no longer serve my highest good. And in letting go of those things, I was learning to empower myself. Which is what those experiences have been for me. They have been lessons that have taught me so much. Albeit many of them were painful, they still helped me become the person I am today. Through it all I have come to love myself for the first time, in my life. In doing so I have also come to the realization that, “it is OK to be me.” When I came to that, I was taken aback, at how powerful it is, yet how simple it is.
I have come to see that much of my life I had become a conformer to those around me who influenced me in not so positive ways. They were people that brought me down, whether they were intentional or not, they succeeded in causing me to become someone I wasn’t, but I thought I was. These were people that came in all shapes and sizes in my life, from school teachers, to relationships, to “friends” over the years. Random people on Internet forums. All telling me how things should be, or how I should do things, or how I should react to them. When you don’t know any better, you start to believe them. It lowers your self esteem and you start to doubt yourself and your abilities. Their way of being becomes yours, and you basically become defeated, wounded, and in many cases defeated. You no longer cease to exist how you were created, but become this Frankenstein creation of their design.
I will be the first to tell you, it’s not a good way of living. Yet it becomes our only way of living because we think it’s right. Because they told us it was. We hardly ever stop and think, well maybe they were wrong. For many of us that become wounded, we are not strong enough to stand up to them and stand firm within ourselves. At the time, I did not. I just shied away, and shut down. Building up wall, after wall, to protect myself, without even really realizing I was doing it.
I could have chosen to accept their reality was the only way to be. I could have chosen to stay that way. And lived their life. Miserable in the process. Shut down and defeated. (You probably would not be reading this blog right now if I did.) Or I could have set out to change everything and be so much more than I could have ever imagined. I chose the latter. I chose a better life. It was not easy. It has been a roller coaster of a journey over the past two years and I have loved every moment of it. I chose to heal my life. I choose to work at myself. I chose to really look at myself, the way I was living, and really work to make changes. To heal. To free myself of the shackles I was wearing. I had to do it. I had to put in the work. I had to actively do it. I had to actively work at it. I had to hammer away at the walls I had created. Brick by brick. Piece by piece. In time they slowly came down. I opened up more. I become more than I thought I was.
In that process I have learned one big truth of life. That it is OK to be me. It’s OK to like what I like. It’s OK to do what I do. It’s OK to be me. I am a beautiful person, inside and out. I don’t need to conform or settle. When you listen to those who don’t have your best interests at heart it takes you to a place you don’t want to be in, if you allow them to do so. If you give them that power over you. They have no power over us until we give it to them. When we stay strong in our own lights, in ourselves, we see our own worth and what we deserve. And we deserve great things. I am so grateful for those that I have met on this journey, good and bad. It was those “bad” ones that showed me what I don’t want from people. Those good ones helped me to see myself for who I truly was. When I could no longer see it within myself. I am forever thankful for them. They helped find me when I had gotten so lost in life. They were earth angels sent to bring me home. I am glad to finally be home. Now I know my worth. I know what I deserve and now I don’t settle for anything less than that.
Now I work through forgiving those who inadvertently took my light from me, and forgive myself for putting myself in that place. It was all learning and it was all to help me become the person I am today. Now my light is bright and it shines out to all to see.
This week has been a celebration of life for me. More aptly this has been the anniversary of my birth. I am a year older this week, and hopefully I am a year wiser. I have certainly learned a lot this year, and have of course made a few mistakes. But each one has provided me great opportunities to grow and learn. Each of them, the good and bad, has provided me lessons that have better me. I have survived them all and am thankful for that as they have helped me to open up to more and more. And help me to allow in more in my life.
During this week it has given me much to think about and ponder as I turn 38. While I look back upon a life that is now better lived. I can not help but to smile on where I am now in life. When I started this journey two plus years ago, I did not know where I would end up. I started with basically nothing. I was living an empty life, and had nothing to show for me. While I had some friends, and family, I was alone with them all. It’s a hollow existince to have to be surrounded by people yet be alone.
Yet this journey has surprised me in so many ways that I can be nothing but grateful and thankful today. For all of it. In the course of that journey I have met so many incredible people that has become such important people in my life, people I can truly call friends. People that support me, care about me, are there for me, and above all of that, love me for who I am. That was a blessing I never expected to find in this journey. To be honest it was something I never thought I’d get in life. I was not looking for it, because I had come to accept that that was my life. That was the way I would always be. I am thankful I was proven wrong on that. Life has a tendency to prove me wrong when I think I know something. And I am ok with that.
When I started this journey I was so afraid to go anywhere. I had not taken an actual vacation in a decade, and since this journey, I have taken an actual vacation four times in that two years, and have visited so many sights and so many landmarks, that I have lost count of them all. And I am not complaining about that. There was a time I was wishing to not have to go places because that was easier for me. Now I’m wishing to go more places and see even more. Just wish I had the money to do so. As we all do that wish to travel.
I have been blessed in so many ways, that I am so thankful and grateful for. All because I set out to change my life, and my life changed me. It’s opened so many doors and given me so much. Shown and taught me so much. And with that joy it has given me, I am able to create things with a grateful heart, as that is what I can now bring into my life. More things to be grateful for. I never thought I would be where I am. I never thought it was possible. I doubted too much and denied even more. Now I am able to watch miracles unfold in my life. See prayers be answered and doors open even further.
Gratitude has gone a long way for me and does for everyone who is grateful. It creates a positive atmosphere within us that reflects out into our lives. My journey is only just beginning and now I am witnessing dreams of mine come true. So this week is a celebration for me, not just because I am older, but because I am celebrating life. I was given life back to me, and I thank God every day for that.
I am thankful for this journey, I am thankful for everyone who I have met, and heard from, who have told me my blog has inspired them. I am glad to had that and hope that this blog does just that. Inspired the light within you to help you make the changes you want to, to live the life you have only dreamed of. We are all worthy and deserving of good things. God, or whatever you want to call God, wants the best for us. And we deserve that. That love and happiness is real. And is a lasting part of our life. Something we will always have and cherish for as long as we live, and beyond.
Be grateful. Be thankful. Love fully. And smile more.
This popped up on my timeline today, I wrote it a year ago.
“Just about a year ago, I was in a terrible place in my life. I was unhealthy, out of shape, in a lot of pain emotionally and physcially. I was in a very, very dark place in my life… I then decided to do something about it. Turn my life around. No one was going to do it for me. So I cleaned up my eating, and started running. Within a short amount of time things were changing and improving for me. I was becoming more than I could ever imagine. Within that time I dropped 70 pounds and got into the best shape in my life, I am feeling happy, healthy, and so much light. I am truly, for the first time in my life. Happy. I genuinly am happy to my very core, and I look forward with much optimism to the future and all that it will bring. I don’t wear tank tops, never have. It was not easy sharing a pic of one, even if I do look good. Na na na na na… Batman.”
It’s hard to believe the guy in the left is the same as the guy in the right and that that guy was me at one point in my life. Two years ago I sent out to change my life for the better. I never thought I would get to where I am today. Since I started that journey I have been to the Poconos, twice, to a Washington D.C., to Gettysburg and there is so many more adventures in there. I never could have fathomed being able to do any of that. Yet I am proud to say I have done that and so much more.
I have seen and done so many things, and met so many people over the course of that two years. I am blessed and thankful for it all. I’ve seen first hand what fear can do to us and our lives and I know for us to get through the fear we have to walk through it. We can pray for all the strength in the world by only we can act upon the opportunities presented to us. Only we can act courageous in the face of fear. Many will supposed and encourage us but it’s up to us to act. Not everyone will understand our new journeys because they only knew us as the old us. Yet we become something so much more.
My journey has shown me that if I can do it anyone can do it. Two years ago I set off on an epic journey to change my world and I am so glad to have done so. I look forward to where I will go tomorrow.
That pic was a year ago, I have lost even more weight and finally am at a place where I love the way I look, and don’t hate to have picture taken.
Here is what I look like today.
I’m creating a life I am proud of an can look back upon and smile. It’s not been easy and has challenged me in many ways. I know how eat it can be to just want to give up and run away. How the depression dark thoughts I have fought can still have a tendency to creep up on me and want to consume me. But I keep my head up, and keep the energy going, and keep moving forward to better things. And this time, the depression doesn’t win. It didn’t have power over me anymore. I don’t give it any. I don’t give in to it.
I live life.
Shadows of the past – sounds like a movie in the Star Wars universe. Some days life feels like a sci-fi movie. I think my life could certainly use a theme song to it. Or at least Morgan Freeman narrating it. How awesome would life be if that happened? It would be epic.
As I have worked with Reiki, crystals bowls, and various healers, I have gone through many layers of myself. I have brought forth parts of me I no longer remember and parts of me I didn’t even know existed.
The more I have opened up to that, the more I have seen how much the past has cast its dark shadow upon my life. It’s that last thg can create so much anxiety, and fear within us. As we hold on to our baggage that we just for some reason or another can not let go of. Perhaps because it’s familiar to us or it’s just how we identify ourselves as. Some times we hold them because we don’t want them to repeat so if we remember that John was mean to he, we hold that baggage so no one else hurts us ever again. But really at the end of the day, who does it hurt by holding it? We do. It affects us and any future encounter with people. This baggage creates doubts and those doubts feed our insecurities and we start to just descend into dark places of the mind that start to make us feel paranoid about others. This baggage, all it ends up doing is robbing us of peace.
The more we cling to it, the tighter our grip becomes, the more we lose ourselves in the process. We become consumed by it and that becomes all we can see.
We then have a choice; continue to grip our baggage tight or let go of it and open our hands up to new experiences with an innocent mind. A mind that is not stuck on the past. A mind that can be one to trust life. Trust another person. For me I have spent so long living with baggage. Unable to let it go. Unable to trust in people. I have experienced the insecurities in brings to the mind. Causing me to push away the world in the past. I choose to live a better life. I choose to be happy now.
Working on myself has shown me many truths about myself. I know I am not perfect. I have a lot of work to do on myself. And truthfully we all do. We just have to be willing and ready to do so. Not everyone is ready. And that is ok. That is their journey. Each day I strive to be a better person than I was yesterday. I have come so far in my healing, my development, and life, within the past year. I look forward to where next year, and five years from now will take.
I am glad I took those first steps to change my life. I can’t imagine my life any other way now.
I have alluded to this on this blog before that when I was living, and I’m sure those with anxiety/depression can also relate to this, and that is a feeling of hopelessness. Where things seem so bleak and bad that there will never be any good in life. That life and living will always suck.
I think the hardest thing with ever having hope is that you can not see it. You can not see that it will happen. You can not see the good that will come. All you can see is this moment that is happening and the moment you had yesterday. So to tell someone that things will get better seems like rubbish. And that is putting it nicely. At least that is the way it felt to me.
How can we ever believe things will get better? When did we ever see it as getting better? All we know is fear, anxiety, and depression. That is our whole world. That is our life. For me that was all I ever knew. So me to have hope that the sun would finally come out in my life and things would change. I would not believe you. Even today I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that the sun can come out. That things can change. I guess the saying is true, tough times don’t last.
Then we’d have to ask ourselves, would we enjoy the rainbow if we didn’t dance in the rain? That was a question I had been pondering to myself since yesterday. Let me set the stage for you. Me and a good friend of mine, someone I have been blessed to get to know real well in the past few months, were going to go out for the night, and visit some friends at the opening of their store. Then we went out to dinner afterwards. The whole things had really just blown me away. How three years ago I would never have seen any of that happening in my life. To have been able to go out and meet people, get to know them, and go out and have a fun night on the town. Then finish it off with dinner. It really blew me away.
Which got me to thinking about it, and how back in 2013-2015 was really dark times for me. Had I known this is what my life would end up like would I still have been so dark? Since most of that darkness was the result of being in such a bad place because of not being anywhere in life, but to finally be somewhere in life, would that darkness have still happened? Would have been able to enjoy the beauty of the night out if I hadn’t had that darkness?
For me the answer(s) was pretty clear. I would not have been able to truly appreciate the joy of going out last night, meeting someone incredible and important to me, if I did not go through those trials and tribulations in life. I had meet people before and even dated them, I know shocking, but I did not have the appreciation of life and them without knowing what it was like to not have it. It is true that we can not fully appreciate happiness without sadness. I am not forever grateful for all that I do have and do now because I know what it was like to not have it.
So how do we get hope? Some would say to have hope you need faith and trust, and belief. I think that is true in many ways. As hope is just this knowing that things will be OK. It’s not something easy to get. It’s not easy to believe in something you cannot see. When all I knew was anxiety and pain, to see anything but that was very hard to do. What we do know is that nothing lasts forever. Bad times and even good times. All we can do is make the most of every moment we have. Which helps us to cherish all the good memories we experience and work on those that we did not like.
For me life did not just change on its own I had to go out there and make that change. I had to work hard at it, as we all do. We all have to work at life. We have to do what we can to make our lives the best we can make them. For many like myself we have an exact image of what we want our life to be and how we want to get there. For me I had to surrender that control to the universe. It’s not easy let me tell you. At first I had an image of what I wanted but once I let go of that and allowed my life to blossom it became so much more than I could have ever hoped. I couldn’t picture my life to be any other way now.
To me that is hope. We get out of the way of ourselves and just let life take its own course. Let it be more than we want it to be. Let it take off. Let it knock our socks off. Otherwise we may try to control life and decide not to go to that luncheon or gathering that night.
What if you go beyond your image and go to that event and meet the one person who could change your life completely around for the better? So don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit life.
Let it be more than you could ever imagine. You may just love the ride.
Spontaneity has never been a word that was a part of my vocabulary. While I may have heard of that word in my day to day living it was not a word that I was using. The idea of it, to just go and do something, don’t think about it, don’t plan it, just do it, made me sick to my stomach and would fill me with dread.
That was my way of living. That was life in a nutshell for me. And if you’ve ever seen a nutshell they are very tiny, you can not get much in them. So to have life in one of them did not leave room for much. Such was the life I was living. It was very routine. It was very repetitive. Such is the life of a person who was plagued with anxiety. It did not help that I am also introverted. So for me I never really had that desire to be out and mingle with my fellow peeps out there.
The idea of me going against my own core ideals was very foreign to me. Yet I knew if I was to ever make something of my life. To ever have a hope of a better life I had to take everything I had ever known, everything I ever believed was true for me, and throw it all out of the window. And create basically a brand new me. For the longest time I used to say people do not change. Not really. They could change their clothing style, and maybe their likes and dislikes could change, but they wouldn’t truly change who they are. At the end of the day they would still be the same them. Just with different clothes. That is what I believed. In some ways I still believe that to be true. Yet I have seen within my own life that it is possible to change who we think we are. And in essence change who we were. Not all of us will change and that is OK. Because those things that make up us are what make us unique and different than everyone else.
Maybe that is all superficial things that we can change and our core personalities always stay the same? I dunno. Can I go from an introvert to an extrovert? I guess that is something I will have to find out for myself.
So how do we do any of it? How do we get up and change something? How can I go from an anxious guy, not living life, to being able to go on a weekly adventure for a year? How do we get the courage to do that? We can pray for that courage and beg and plead for it, and we may receive what we ask for. But it will never be how we thought it would be. What I mean by that is, we will get opportunities to be courageous, to be brave. It is up to us to act on them. And that is what I had to do. I had to take those steps to be brave. To be courageous. To go out and have an adventure. It was the only way I would ever be able to change anything about my life. I had to take initiative. I had to take the first step.
I won’t lie, it scared the crap out of me. Even with my health doing so much better before I took that step. That was crucial for me. I had to feel better physically before I could feel better emotionally. As they were linked together for me. A lot of my anxiety stemmed from a body that reacts crazy to certain foods. Once I got a handle on that I had better control over my body and that helped me to be able to take more steps in my life. For me those steps were out on weekly adventures. Even with the better health there was still the mental aspect of it. As most anxiety is fear thoughts about the future because of something that happened in the past. So to break free from those thoughts I had to recreate new thoughts that reinforced a new reality. To do that I had to keep moving forward. Keep my life going. And keep doing new things.
Each step. Each adventure gave me more belief in myself. Belief in what I was doing. Believe that I could do this. I could go out. Was it easy? No, it was not. Is it always easy to do? No, it is not. There are sometimes when I want to just fall back into my old habits, and just say no. But I know I cannot do that. I cannot fall back into things. Or I will start to say no more and more. I have to try new things. I have to keep pushing the envelope on who I think I am and keep trying. I need to keep moving. As I encourage you all to do as well. Life and time will continue to tick by. We can either just let it go on without us. Or we can join it in its eternal dance. I don’t know about you, but after 36 years of not dancing, I want to dance until the cows come home. Well not literally, I’m not much of a dancer, but if I keep my mind open, one day I may light the floor up like John Travolta.
So can we as an individual change? Can we be something different than we were? I am starting to believe it is very plausible to change if we truly want and desire to. So can I go from introverted to a social butterfly? I don’t know. I don’t know if I purposely do it. Some would say I am shy. But I am not sure if that’s fully it. I just am not a small talker. Never really know what to talk about. It’s not that I don’t talk. Heck, I don’t shut up when I start talking. Even this post is going on so long that even I forgot what I was writing about. I think it’s about courage. And pancakes. How much better pancakes are than waffles. (Sorry waffle lovers, but pancakes rule. I will give you your due for putting ice cream and waffles together. Sadly I don’t eat gluten anymore for health reasons so I don’t get pancakes in my life these days. It’s sad. Truly is. See this is what I am talking about. Long whimsical rambling that had nothing to do with this post whatsoever. ) Yet when in public or with others I am quiet and reserved. I don’t really talk. It’s like I freeze up and don’t have anything to say. Even when people engage me I will speak short sentences and phrases, to just hurry along the conversion and get you to leave me alone. I sound like a cranky old man. But can I change that? Can I change who I am and be a social butterfly? I guess there is only one way to find out.
Life is crazy and exciting and it’s more so to just go out there and make something of life. To just have some wild and random fun. And if you are doing it with those you love those memories will be cherished for the rest of your life. And that is totally worth it.
Now I am living a life that is fun and that I truly enjoy. I can look back at a weekend or a day and say it was time well spent and had a lot of fun. When someone texts me about a gathering that is happening and if I want to go to it, I can get out there, on a whim, and do something new, and create new memories. That is truly a blessing to have in life. To get out there and make a memory.