Reflection

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The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true — action precedes motivation.” – Robert J. McKain

As the year is coming to an end, I find myself reflecting back on all my experiences. Like stop motion pictures before my eyes. Though I did not travel as much as I wanted this year, I embarked on life’s adventure by immersing myself in nature and meaningful experiences from random nature hikes to camping in the blazing hot spring and summer to jamming out to some of my favorite music artists at various music venues that coincidentally occurred during extreme weather conditions (i.e., heatwaves, thunderstorms, hurricane warnings) that allowed me to discover myself in the beautiful elements of mother Earth, in rain, heat, wind, and mud, to conversing with people from different backgrounds. I even put myself in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations and tried many new things. Some experiences were quite memorable and some were quite difficult to endure, which took quite a toll on my mental health and overall health. I went with my gut for a majority of my decisions and for other decisions I faltered through battles I had within myself. I’ve made some mistakes, experienced failure, and learned some valuable lessons out of them. I’ve played my role in giving wholeheartedly to as many people as I care about. I set some goals for myself in the beginning of the year and surely I think I’ve exceeded my own expectations in terms of expanding my mind, being physically active, spending time in nature, and becoming more mindful and present with myself. All in all, I’ve learned more than I could ever imagine. I appreciate all those who have supported and continue to support me along this journey called life. 2017, I think you were good to me even though you challenged me and pushed me to the edge.

I’d like to keep these in mind:

  • focus on what is important to myself rather than others
  • redefine my independence
  • practice self-compassion

Authentically and sincerely,

Deanna

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vulnerability.

We keep our guards up around certain people. We are afraid, worried, trapped, angry, etc. We don’t think we can really share with anyone else these feelings because they make us vulnerable, or as if someone has decrypted the language to your soul. We filter ourselves — via texting, conversations, social media platforms, and basically anywhere public. However, there are others with whom we can let our guard down. We feel comfort, courage, bravery, and determination to speak our minds because there really is no right or wrong way to be vulnerable. If people could be more vulnerable, we would be able to own up to being what it means to truly be human. We would also be able to learn how to build more empathy for each other. And with empathy, we can learn to understand and listen. And with understanding, we can learn and grow and mostly importantly unravel and discuss the problems of the universe. Not as a single entity that a human exists as, but as systemic wholeness, the force of the inhabitants of the world.

There probably was no correlation regarding vulnerability and solving the problems of the universe, but this is just a lingering thought that we can use more vulnerability and empathy.

Experiences

Experiences are what make a person unique, not like any other. Everybody has different experiences in life. No one person will experience the same experience in the exact same way. Of all the good and bad experiences and pathways in life, this is what helps a person learn more about themself and develop their ultimate self. This lies in the decision to traverse towards the unknown. Imagine if you made a career decision over another, enrolled in a university on the other side of the world versus the one close to home, and the people whom you chose to let in your life, the people you chose to let go, the restaurant you decided to go to, the book you picked up, the person you exchanged contact information with, the small gesture you made, the conversation you had, and all the other variables that one may encounter in life. Would your life still be the same? Would you be the same person?

Even the slightest change in a decision or direction has the power of a magnificent impact on who you are, where you go, and what becomes of you. The world is so infinite with all possibilities ~

The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” –Stephen Hawking

Losing Sight of Your Life Direction

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It is so common for people to lose sight of what they want or need in life. It is also common to not even know what to do with your life. I think this is what makes the journey beautiful and interesting. I have not always known exactly what I wanted to do with my life or let alone contemplated my options. I always followed my passions as much as I was able to do so. I hope for others to be able to find their passions, which can lead them to happiness and growth.

In retrospect, this has been the longest year of my life yet it seemed to have flown by as fast as the sun goes down. It feels like I’m barely starting to “live” fully after all these years. For the first time, I’ve experienced so many vivid and fleeting emotions, ups and downs, which gave me clarity on so many levels of my understanding of the world. In the midst of all this, I was lost countless times. And as I learned to adapt and let comfort sink in, I urged myself to move forward. There never seems to be a good time to stop. Every time I slow down to catch my breath, I find myself already hurrying towards another direction, always seeking for novelty and peace for my wandering spirit and restless mind. Always, my passions are right there with me wherever I decide to go and whomever I meet.

Labyrinth of Life

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I like how I can read back on my thoughts and see my own growth. So so much has changed for me and given me opportunities for new knowledge and perspective. I’m not even sure how to gather the precise words to describe what I’ve seen, heard, and experienced emotionally and mentally. I want to remember my experiences forever.

In the midst of finding balance in life, I realized I no longer believe self-improvement is the best thing for me because I would constantly be critical of myself and my flaws. However, I did find that experiencing every bit of life fully allowed me to find my path back to who I am. I am now present and more in tune with my needs and wants. I’ve missed having deep conversations with many individuals that have been a part of my life at one point, so I’ve recently made it a point to connect with those who cross my mind. I enjoy connecting with people and helping them understand themselves, which actually helps me understand myself better as well. It is simply amazing how I can make certain choices that can have such an immense impact and domino effect on my life.

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska

Be Kind to Yourself

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WARNING: This is going to be a post where I regurgitate all the recent flow of ideas in my head regarding my perception of life 🙂 Sit back and enjoy.

Don’t wait for good things to happen. There can be other good things right in front of your eyes. Live in the present and take a moment to appreciate, understand, contemplate, and enjoy all that is occurring around you. Take a small sip of that drink and really savor the sweetness, sourness, or bitterness of the taste. Look into the sky and appreciate the clouds, the wind blowing into your face, and the hue of the summer. Do everything with a little more mindfulness. You’ll realize how much more in depth with life you can achieve. Life is not linear. We will walk through many varying paths as we live through each age of our life. There will be easy, challenging, unknown, and possibly invisible paths. Sometimes we need to get lost a few times before we find our reality. Take your time to figure out what path or decision feels doable to you. People can be kind. You can always learn new knowledge from anyone you meet. The few good connections you have with people may take you further than you thought. Taking a step out of your comfort zone can take you a far ways. Reach for the stars if you can! When you tell yourself “but I can’t…”, then you are your greatest obstacle. Figure out how you can take that first small step. It may not take you where you want initially. You can gain something else from the experience that you didn’t expect.

 

How I Choose to Live

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It’s been quite often that I’ve been told… “you’re at the age to explore and try new things!” and “do all that you can before you have more adult responsibilities.”

And of course, this is exactly what I’ve been doing ever since I turned 25. There hasn’t been a single dull moment. On weekdays, I am a therapist conquering mental health problems and by weeknights and weekends, I am a full time adventurer and life researcher. Many people ask me, “What do you do with your time?” and I always answer, “There isn’t enough time to do everything!”

Yes, time has become the evil villain of my life. I’m constantly having to remind myself:

  • to be more present with myself
  • to be more mindful of what I do
  • to live more in the moment

Without adding hints of mindfulness in my life, I have the tendency to constantly move forward and fill all the gaps of time by letting noise take occupancy or always keeping myself busy. Recently this past week, I started to let myself slow down a bit. I noticed how much more present I became with not only my clients, but also with myself and other significant people in my life.

I’m amazed by how one person can really inspire another person like an infinite domino effect. I’m going to take all the knowledge I’ve acquired so far in my quarter century of life, and apply it, make mistakes, and hopefully create something memorable and meaningful for all that is a part of my life.

“If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” – Maya Angelou