Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Power of Words; Reflections on Maya Angelou's Thoughts

This video is a snippet of Maya Angelou's Master Class with Oprah Winfrey

I believe in the power of words. Words can uplift us and words can tear us apart. I remember when I first  experienced that power. As a youth I experienced the love from the words that rolled out of my mothers tongue. As an adult I experienced the pain that words like good enough, pretty enough, and thin enough evoke, not just in myself, but in countless women I encounter. Words are the internal monologue that guide our lives. The words we say to ourselves are constantly serenading our spirit, our mood, and our perspective. Repeat to yourself you are unworthy, and the words manifest themselves in your actions.  The words we use to communicate with others are powerful enough to heal someones fear. Tell a person consistently she/he is intelligent and they believe. 

Belief is a powerful thing. If we are to grow into the beautiful people we truly are, our words are to be used for healing the people around us. Words that carry love with them allow people to bloom. Words of encouragement and support are much more effective for your own healing than those based on negative and deconstructive ideas. I recently explained to my friend over lunch that we are cruel to ourselves. We are critical and we pick ourselves apart. We wouldn't allow another person to speak to us the way we speak to ourselves. Words are powerful enough that they can seep into our subconscious, as water into soil. 

Let the words you use heal. Lets use our words to improve the world. Lets use our words to build beautiful relationships. Give way to the power of words that carry love instead of fear. Let us spread good news and allow others to spread their good news freely. Don't stand idly aside listening to negative ideas, stop them. The world is not in its current state because of bad people, but because of people that allow negative ideas and actions to bloom.

"But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. " —Lord Byron

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Feeling Right: The Life That's Right For You

"Feeling right is about living the life that's right for you."
-Gretchen Rubin

I never understood where I was going until I found myself deep into where I knew I did not want to be. At that point I understood that this, whatever and wherever it may be, was not right for me. It was an itch deep in my chest I couldn’t scratch. I found myself rolling as tumbleweed through barren land, and that land was an aspect of my life. It is the feeling that you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, or going in a path that is unnatural.

There is no doubt in my mind that living the right life for you is the centerpiece of your emotional table. Living right is living the life of your childhood dreams, or some variation of that dream. What is right for you is not what you see around you, it is everything you have ever wanted to create and every activity that brings you joy. If you are creative why spend the majority of your week suppressing that creativity? If you love math why spend your days in a career that does not incorporate that passion? The right life is the life that has balance. It incorporates your passions, your curiosity, and your potential. Feeling right has more to do with duty, a duty to be true to you.

I have always loved art. Art is a broad word, but what is important is that I have always been interested in participating in the creation of something. For a long time before I could even pick up a book on art, or write, or paint, or even think creatively I would be discouraged by my own mind. I would hear the words of my parents “you are the smart one, get good grades, leave the painting for your siblings”. I would enforce upon myself a title “smart”. The problem with titles is that they limit, they hurt, and titles put you in a pebble. Many people have this same experience.

Feeling right for me is not giving myself a title. Feeling right for me is creating, nourishing, and supporting the positive. I concentrated on a certain subject in college for the sake of keeping that title. And although I was interested in what I studied I wasn’t passionate. If I cant incorporate passion I rather not build my life around a career out of balance with my natural self.

I have to shed every single imprint of a life that encouraged me to suppress my interest for what others valued. I phrase it as “have to” because it is a never-ending transformation. It is a metamorphosis. I want to become a butterfly, and the moth cocoon the world enforced on me cannot contain the wings I imagine for myself.
Photograph by Dorota Oleszczuk
Aristotle wrote extensively on the subject of happiness. He explained that happiness is not a great dinner, or a fun time, or even those summer trips to the shore. Happiness is fulfilling your duty to yourself, and striving towards your goal. Aristotle explained that as you live the right life for you, you automatically bloom into the best version of yourself. Your best self is happy.

The world needs the best version of you.

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