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I have noticed something that I just keep getting clearer and clearer about it.  Every time I get down or go into a depression, it is almost always because I am viewing my life from someone else’s view of me.

To say it another way, I love my little life.  I live in a funky environment that is rare and doesn’t necessarily FIT into what society views as normal.  I absolutely devour my nights at home and LOVE my living situation.

Yet, there are times that I find myself depressed.  Lately I’ve been able to pinpoint why–it’s because I’m viewing my life from THEIR view of me.TARAreflecting

People say things to me that are so inappropriate and with such pity aimed at me.   Please don’t pity me just because I’m not living the life that you would live!  I am me and you are you–please consider that when you judge!

When I view my life from within, I am blissful and happy.

When I look through THEIR eyes, I become that poor pitiful person they see me as.

Really, I ask you, why does it have to look a certain way?  Why do our lives have to conform to everybody else’s way of living or society’s view of what a successful existence is?  It doesn’t, and the clearer I get about this, the more I thrive in my own reality.

“The older you get, the more you understand how your conscience works.  The biggest and only critic lives in your perception of people’s perception of you rather than people’s perception of you.”
― Criss Jami

Brilliant!

So, when it all comes down to it, I AM in charge of my thoughts and feelings.  When I feel what people are perceiving my life to be, I don’t have to allow those perceptions to permeate my being.

Our lives are our own and when we embrace them with a sense of wholeness, we thrive.

As Emerson said, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.”  God I love that.

So, this I say to myself and to you if you care to receive it:   our lives are our own and we get to decide what we value and what feels good–nobody else.  I suppose it is easier said than done but with some introspection and breath work within, we can come to the place where it really is okay REGARDLESS of what THEY think!BrightLightLantern

Presence Is Power!

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Did you know– Gratitude is THEE most powerful spiritual practice to cultivate.  I spend my days looking for beauty and I always find it!  I am grateful I can see beauty everywhere I look.IMG_0785

Recently I had lunch with a friend and her sister.  I really wanted to get to know her sister better since I had only met her briefly in the past.  Instead of engaging in conversation, she looked past me and judged every person that walked by behind me.  Granted, we were sitting in a restaurant on Venice Beach and that is quite the place to people watch–I’ll give her that.

At some point though, we need to BE with the people we’re with.  Every comment was cutting and critical.  It was hard to be in that space since most of the people I spend time with have realized that I don’t like to go there.  

Truly, I’m looking for the greatness in others because I know that will enhance who I AM.CriticsEncouragers

I want to be present with people, not tear them apart.

After too many non stop minutes of this, I decided to do what is the biggest NO NO these days–I picked up my phone, started taking pictures of the beauty around me, posting to Facebook.

I’m sure that was frowned upon but, truly,  I had to remove myself from all the negativity.VeniceBeachBeauty

Something I learned a long time ago, whenever you judge anything, you hold yourself apart from all the things you are wanting to be and do and have.  All the attention on “what’s wrong” just pulls more of “what’s wrong” into your life!

The other thing I know is that we are all part of the same stuff, let’s stop tearing ourselves and others apart and start celebrating the greatness within and beyond ourselves.

I want to be with people when I’m in their presence — I don’t want to judge everything that moves behind them!  It’s a practice, it’s an art–to become present in the moment and fully absorbed in that moment with no distractions.

Presence within ourselves and the presence within our fellow beings is where ALL the power resides but it’s only here NOW!  I’m going to celebrate NOW. Please, please, BE With Me Now!