There is beauty In the moments of quiet
There is beauty in the down-time. The meditation. The moment of quiet which exists between awaking and arising in the morning.
The moment your head hits your pillow, your eyes close and your mind drifts off.
There is beauty in the quiet moments
Allow yourself some moments of quiet
Turn off your TV, iPhone and computer and Tune into yourself. It is in the moments of quiet that the essence of your true self is revealed to you. ❤️
#UltravioletThoughts #Ultraviolet #Thoughts #Writing #Yoga #Spiritual #Spirituality #Consciousness #SourceMessage #FemaleHustler #Mindfulness #Manifestation #LawofAttraction #AbrahamHicks #AlanWatts #Philosophy #TheCosmos #Universe #spiritual #love #spirituality #meditation #spiritualawakening #yoga #UltravioletAsana
When I originally reached out to a photographer about getting my photos taken I was super nervous.
I had created this story in my head — several stories — about the whole thing. The first story was that people who had photo shoots done were narcissistic and by doing so I would be too.
The second story I created was that I wasn’t “good enough” to have my photos taken. I wasn’t “hot” or conventionally “sexy,” therefore I wasn’t the type of person who should model for photos.
Another story I created in my head was that I had to alter my physical appearance before doing the pictures. I had to wear a full face of makeup, straighten my hair and buy a whole new wardrobe before I met up with him.
I decided to journal and talk to friends and family about it before I reached out — their response? I am a new professional, why not get new photos taken to represent that career change?
I also knew deep down that it’s 2019 and in order to share my words & thoughts I need to have beautiful captivating images to reel people in...
And, finally, I realized — I could just show up as myself. The past few weeks I haven’t been wearing makeup and I’ve been wearing my hair naturally, and it’s funny how many people have asked me how old I am (because I look so young to them without makeup on) or what nationality I am.
But for me, going natural has a whole other meaning that I’ll have to explain in another post. So here I am makeup-less with bags under my eyes and a bloated PMS belly at 6am at my favorite hiking spot...
The purpose of this post is to encourage you to STOP CREATING STORIES IN YOUR HEAD! Stop trapping yourself in a box of things you can’t/can or should/shouldn’t do. You are a multidimensional being.
Additionally, you are so so so worthy of everything beautiful in this world. You are worthy of running through flower fields and taking photos if you want. You are worthy of that $6 Kombucha drink if you want. You are worthy of sitting at that table with those you look up to and if there’s no seat available, pull up a chair.
You are wholeheartedly so worthy of it all — just the way you are. Enjoy your week. 💕✨
The other night I was feeling really down. I've been preparing to teach my first "legit" yoga class this upcoming weekend and I needed to practice. Her and I went to a gorgeous beach where we had to walk down a cliff and past train-tracks. It was one of my favorite spots, one I hadn't been to in a while. And, although I was at one of my favorite places, with one of my favorite people, doing one of my favorite things — I couldn't focus. I couldn't be present. I couldn't relax into the present moment and enjoy it. Instead, I got so down on myself for accidentally cuing the right foot instead of the left in a sequence, that I gave up.
Her and I had a heart-to-heart conversation after. I finally caved-in. I realized I had been avoiding my emotions, fears and anxieties by filling my schedule with perceived "tasks," leaving no free time for myself.
Burnout, lack of gratitude, confusion and above all else a loss of touch with the magic of the present-moment.
Last night I did a heart-chakra meditation, did some journaling and reflected. I cried, a lot. I visualized myself doing what I love, teaching yoga. I visualized myself helping others. I visualized myself laughing and smiling brightly.
And this morning I woke up feeling a little different. A little lighter. The flat tire on my way to work this morning (typical Mercury Retrograde!!) couldn't dim my shine.
GRATITUDE!! GRATITUDE!! GRATITUDE!!
Here are 5 ways you can ground-down into the present moment and rediscover joy using gratitude:
1. Leave the victim mentality at the door. Remember, the universe is on your side. Every "missed opportunity," is really an answer to a prayer or wish. You are not a victim of this life, you are actually a victor, so lucky to be given it.
2. Reflect. Reflect. Reflect. Get out a journal, pen & paper or the notes app on your phone. Visualize where you were one, two, three or four years ago. Think back to every moment which lead up to this one, every stepping stone you took to bring you to this point. Realize how far you've come. Every time you wanted to give up, you didn't. And even if there were moments where you slipped, you picked yourself up and kept walking. Find gratitude in your resilience.
3. Thank those who have helped you along your journey. Don't just write a list of those who you are thankful for, actually verbally thank them. Reach out to your friends, family, loved ones, co-workers and cheer-leaders and express gratitude for their involvement in your journey.
4. Smell the roses. Enjoy the small-stuff. Buy yourself some flowers at the market, or stop and look at the trees on the sidewalk. Look up at the sky above you when you walk into work. Go to the beach on your lunch-break. Eat the damn chocolate or drink the glass of wine. Laugh. Cry. Laugh again. Live your life, really truly live it.
5. Open up, connect, "tune-in." Make eye contact with the people you come across each day. Smile! Ask the cashier how his/her/their day is going. Thank the janitor you see in the hallway of your building. Say hello to the man who sits next to you at the lunch-counter. Get to know people on a deeper-level. Invite and initiate soul-conversations with others. Ask people about what makes their eyes light up, what makes them passionate, what they have gratitude for. Realize that we all have so much to be grateful for.
That’s something Oprah Winfrey has become famous for saying, the premise and basis of her “SuperSoul Conversations” podcast.
And... it’s SO TRUE. I was listening to a tarot reader on YouTube (Simone Ascending) and she said that before we chose to have this human-experience, we were a little seedling of consciousness with a specific purpose or mission.
Then, we volunteered to have a human experience and actualize that purpose or mission in our external reality.
Most of us spend our lives trying to figure out what that purpose or mission is. I’d say we are all born with that deep knowing coming from an intuitive voice or “inner guru,” but most of us are conditioned to ignore it.
One way we could be conditioned to ignore it is through societal standards, familiar chords/pressure or attachments to material objects.
And so we spend our lifetime trying to figure it all out. We go to school and study various subjects, we work various jobs. And what happens is when we chose something that’s not a part of our plan, the universe throws us obstacles or challenges to bring us in alignment with what our true calling is.
THAT’S why every “curse” is really a blessing. THAT’S why people say “everything happens for a reason.” Because, in reality it does.
So when you’re feeling out of place, when you’re struggling finding your purpose, when you’re feeling like you’re at a dead-end, when the door is locked and you keep trying to open it — pause. Realize that if the universe didn’t need you you wouldn’t be here. Then, try another door.
Watch what happens.
#UltravioletThoughts #Ultraviolet #Thoughts #Writing #Yoga #Spiritual #Spirituality #Consciousness #SourceMessage #FemaleHustler #Mindfulness #Manifestation #LawofAttraction #AbrahamHicks #AlanWatts #Philosophy #TheCosmos #Universe #spiritual #love #spirituality #meditation #spiritualawakening #yoga #healing #peace #consciousness #life #energy #god #awakening #soul #spirit #wisdom #chakras #selflove #faith #motivation #art #inspiration #crystals #nature #tarot #Oprah #SuperSoul #SuperSoulConversations
I had such an amazing time at my first Alpha Women Impact Event on Thursday night.
A huge THANK YOU to my friend Nafiska for inviting me to come with her, Iva Velkosvska for setting up a beautiful, welcoming and intimate space for soul conversation and connection; Shira kane for reminding us that “inclusivity” is more than just a buzz-word and Rebecca Boatman for making us dive deep on what it is we want in a romantic partner/partnership, and what obstacles we place in our way to attracting them.
My Takeaways from Iva:
My Takeaways from Shira:
Throughout my two and a half years of going to college on Long Island I struggled a lot with being exposed to a lot of different political viewpoints. I was raised in a majority white neighborhood, but racism was sparse. In general, my neighborhood was made of mostly upper middle class white people who loved L.L.Bean moccasins, Dave Matthews Band & Bernie Sanders.
When I moved to Long Island I was exposed to racism and prejudice for the first time. Of course, not everyone on Long Island is racist. But did you know that the area where dejure segregation is most prominent in the U.S. is Nassau County?
I attended several political rallies during my time on Long Island in the city as a student journalist. I really struggled with understanding where I fit into the landscape. I was actually kicked out of a party for writing an article saying Black Lives Matter.
And something that really confused me then, and still does, is the reluctance of some individuals to simply just sit and listen to one another and what they have to say.
As a student reporter at the time I felt I had built a pretty solid reputation just from listening to people without interruption. At first it was hard to listen to the opinions or beliefs of others which differed so greatly from mine, but I realized later on that it was essential for me to develop my own belief systems and know how to communicate them with those around me in a respectful way.
So, if we stand up and show up for marginalized groups — while also listening to those who disagree with us — and also listening to those who have been hurt by our words and actions — MAYBE we can create a more harmonious world. Can’t hurt to try, right?
My biggest takeaways from Rebecca:
#Ultraviolet #UltravioletThoughts #Writing #Instagram #SDYoga #Yoga #200YT #Inclusivity #Community #AlphaWomenImpact #RebeccaBoatman #Relationships #SpiritualRelationships #Blog #Blogger #Writer #Spirituality #Wellness #Health #Interconnectedness #Connection #Broadway #BroadwayMakersQuarter
I’ve been wanting to write for a while now but like most overtired and overworked college students at the end of a semester, my brain has become sedimentary and incapable of advanced thought.
The nice thing about studying at a university, writing papers for classes or writing stories as an intern is you are given assignments. If you’re not given an assignment, you are given a general audience to write for. Or topic to write about. Or event to cover.
But when you just withdrew from college to move across the country your mind becomes cluttered. Cluttered and fast. And with every day leading up to moving day comes an increased sense of urgency and restlessness as fast and fleeting as a run-on sentence that makes you cringe.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. I have to.
I believe that I have a higher calling. That we all have higher callings.
I believe that every person on this planet is in the place they are supposed to be in at any given moment.
I believe that life is not linear.
I believe that life is not perfect at all and perfectionism should not be a goal to work towards but instead a concept to run away from.
But I didn’t always think this.
Growing up I was a perfectionist. Starting as early as age 15 I would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and go outside in the pitch-black, uninviting cold which is upstate New York, and I would run. A lot. Like six miles.
And it was easy for me, to do that. That’s what you were supposed to do. That’s what every successful person did, right? They ran six miles before their school day. They had a job. They were on a sports team. They had good grades. They had a boyfriend. They had the perfect social media presence, the perfect body, the popular friends, good grades.
But, did they have the perfect mind?
When you look back on old memories, old relationships and past experiences you see them with a distorted, overly optimistic perspective. You see the smiles, the Instagram “likes”, the laughs.
But you don’t see the time spent feeling alone in a crowded room. Constantly uneasy. The restlessness.
You don’t see the bags under your eyes, the broken heart, the anxiety attacks, your shrinking body in the mirror. The nights spent on your bedroom floor with your back to the door grieving over your imperfections. Shaming yourself into believing that you are inadequate and unworthy of love, success or happiness because you do not fit into the mold that you have developed in your mind.
When you are a perfectionist, your own vision of yourself becomes so distorted that every compliment dealt to you is turned into a new standard which you must overcome or a new goal you must achieve. By constantly achieving for “perfect” you are missing out on all of the imperfections that make life beautiful.
Now I’m not saying you should live life complacent with no goals, aspirations or motivations. I’m saying that by following your intuition you can live a truly perfect life but you must first detach yourself from perfectionism and the limits which it places on you.
What if instead of killing yourself every day in a rat-race routine and jam-packed schedule which leave you feeling depleted, emotionless and in-human—you followed your intuition?
Yes, you need to have a job to pay the bills and take care of yourself. Yes, that job may not be the one you want or the one you went to college for. But what if while being at said job you used your free time, not on constructing a so called “perfect” version of yourself, but on working on developing the passion that is your higher calling? And what if, over time, that development grew so large that it took a life of its own and one day you were able to pay the bills with it?
What if instead of trying to fit-in with a specific crowd or pouring your attention into toxic friendships, you tried to make new ones? What if instead of sitting in a room of people who obviously do not share the same ideologies as you you walked next-door? What if instead of moving from partner to partner you opened your eyes to the person who was sitting in front of you all along? What if instead of constantly swiping right and left and tindering and bumbling and OK Cupiding, you looked up from your phone?
What if instead of spending your money on getting trashed at bars or house parties you spent it on a yoga membership or new books or new experiences that enrich your life and mind and soul instead of destroy your body?
The steps described above may seem unusual to you and that’s because society tells us that if we follow the beaten path, that that curves and winds and twists instead of the linear one which it places us on from birth, that we will be unsuccessful. Society teaches us that we must work our entire lives, climbing the capitalistic corporate ladder, so we can achieve some sort of “perfect” standard of living that leaves us stuck. Society tells us that we must always pine for more, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing until you consider what it wants you to have more of.
Society wants you to have more noise or more stuff. It makes you feel like you need to have it all. Handbags, shoes, furniture, cars, make up. It makes you feel like you have to have the perfect body and tells you the only way to obtain it is through supplements, diet programs and instagram-filters. It tells you you have to have beautiful hair and clear skin, courtesy of beauty products it pushes on you with a 75 billion U.S. dollar advertising industry. It tells you you must take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans (if you are lucky enough to even be able to do this) which you will spend the rest of your life paying off at a job you absolutely hate.
And all of this makes us emotionless and robotic souls who have to resort to dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, OKCupid and the like and swipe away our love-lives, dating random strangers, to try to feel something. But of course, it also tells you that the perfect person doesn’t have feelings. The perfect person doesn’t need a relationship. Deep, true love is too messy for the perfect person. The perfect person just needs someone to pose with for a picture on a Ferris-wheel for “likes.”
If I have learned anything during my mere 20 years on the planet, it is that I am not perfect.
I don’t want to spend my nights drinking at bars or parties and spend my money on Ubers and Lyfts and tequila shots just to kiss strangers and have them tell me I’m cute.
While I value education and acknowledge how lucky I am to be able to attend college, I will not study what society promises me will give me a job. I will study what enriches my soul and I will love every second of it. I will not cheat my way through school in classes I hate in topics that don’t bring me to my higher power. I will pursue what sets my heart and mind on fire.
I will not pour my energy into friendships that leave me feeling empty, exhausted or uncomfortable. I want to instead spend my time watering the friendships that leave me feeling safe, loved and light.
I don’t want to spend my paychecks on manicures or Kate Spade bags or Chipotle (even though it tastes pretty damn good).
I don’t want to live a perfect life anymore. Being perfect is anything from perfection and is simply not worth it.
I challenge you to pause and reevaluate who you are and what your higher calling is. Listen to your mind and soul, they have a message for you.
And while it may be imperfect I promise you it’s worth listening to.
(This post was originally shared on the timesunion.com)
I almost died last night.
Well, OK. Not almost-died, but I could’ve.
I was headed to a charity boxing match-up for my internship, about a 40 minute drive away from my school and I knew I was going to be late. As I approached an abundance of never ending traffic on the expressway, I turned up the old Paramore CD I had in my archaic car (as per lack of aux-cord-capabilities). A few minutes later, the Jeep in front of me stopped short and I slammed right into him.
The sweet-siren sounds of Hayley Williams accompanied by electric guitar and drum set were replaced with a nagging, ringing in my ears and the sound of my heart beating like it was going to fly out of my chest. Fight-or-flight instincts kicking in and regaining full awareness, I hopped out of my car and ran to that which was in front of me to ensure the driver was alright.
The man exited his vehicle just as he was upon his entrance, grateful that we were both alive and his car had minimal damage. Mine on the other hand, was completely totaled.
What you have to understand is, while I know that car accidents can in some ways be rights-of-passage, for someone who relies so heavily on her car, it’s a nightmare. While I am extremely grateful to be alive and very grateful the other driver is alive and well, I am left solving the puzzle as to how I’m going to make my one-hour-by-car commute to school, half-hour commute to my internship and drive to my part-time job. Add in a few trainings or seminars for school clubs on Long Island here and there and some sorority events and I’m left with quite the dilemma.
I have to say though, that in that moment while I was sitting on the shoulder of the Long Island Expressway with tears rolling down my cheeks, watching three lanes of backed up-traffic pass me and realizing that was me in my car just moments ago, I paused.
I was no longer thinking about the classes I skipped earlier due to my terrible cold or the amount of tissues that were scattered all over my car. I wasn’t thinking about the sorority chapter meeting I had to miss to cover this event. I wasn’t thinking about my finances or family issues or dirty closet or dirty car or International Relations reading or Race and Law Research Paper or going to the gym or losing weight or my break up. I was present.
For the first time in a long time, I was present. The world was still and below my feet. My head was on my shoulders and my heart was beating. I was alive.
The whole point of this blog post isn’t for me to whine about my 1st world problems or make you pity me if you do. The point is to show you that some times in life, you simply need to slow down.
While it was probably more convenient for me to come to this realization before totaling my car, maybe this was what I needed to realize that. Often times in life we get so caught up in our own self-caused anxieties that our actual real-world responsibilities seem tenfold grander than they actually are. In theory, an internship, job, school, school club and sorority are all normal things for college students to partake in. But when you spend all of your free moments in your head over analyzing things like job-placement statistics, the dangers of television, how you shouldn’t take cough syrup because it suppresses your symptoms and the amount of calories in a Gala apple versus Granny Smith-dull moments like sitting in traffic become impossible.
Starting at the end of this blog post, I’m going to slow down and I urge you to do the same. This does not mean quit your responsibilities or give up on your dream.
The big picture is still the big picture. But bring your big picture into perspective and dissect it. Dissect it into sections: What you can do right this moment, what you can do next, and what you cannot yet do. That last section is reserved for life. There’s a reason why longevity is to be valued.
The big picture is important, but don’t kill yourself in the process of trying to develop the negatives.
(This post was originally shared on the timesunion.com)
This may trigger those who are currently going through treatment for or are recovered from anorexia, binge eating disorder and orthorexia.
This morning was an absolute mess. I woke up bloated and confused and my typical 45 minute drive home took two hours.
So I decided to make some banana-protein- peanut butter- chocolate chip pancakes because they’re my favorite food. I get home and there’s no bananas. I get in my car and go to the store.I see three of my coworkers. I am in my pajamas and probably reek of the Moe's burrito bowl I had for dinner last night and this is the Fresh Market in Scarsdale, nonetheless, the mecca for fancy, rich and white middle aged women, so of course I caught several dirty looks from just about everyone. Even the deli guy when I asked him for balsamic dressing because I decided to buy a salad too.
Because, nothing is ever easy, my card was declined so I had to put some of my bananas back which was super embarrassing because my co-workers were behind me in line.
After three plus hours at this point, I get home. I'm all ready to make my pancakes and there's no eggs. So I eat some chocolate chips and brainstorm. I decide to make oatmeal with bananas, peanut butter and chocolate. Sounds good, right?
Wrong. After a few bites I wanted to throw up. So I settled on a breakfast of a handful of pita chips. Looking at the clock, 12p.m., I realized I should probably go to the gym or go for a run before I left for work.
Well. I didn’t. Instead I had to run to my bed and lay down.
Eating disorders are no joke.
Back in High School at the peak of my disordered eating I had little routines and rules I followed strictly and if I broke them I would absolutely fall apart. I remember once, at the dinner table, my parents asking me how my day went. I said It was bad because I ate too much, to which my mom responded "why does that have anything to do with how your day went?"
I would never dare eat chocolate unless it was in a breakfast muffin, or eaten before noon, so I could burn it off throughout the day. Chocolate or muffins were approved foods but I had to run an extra mile or two after track practice or go to the gym to burn them off.
Never would I skip breakfast and breakfast always contained one serving of fruit and was around 300 calories. To jumpstart my metabolism.
Old me would have never gone to the supermarket, or anywhere for the record, without working out, showering and getting dressed first. Seeing someone at supermarket or a restaurant was my biggest fear because they might see me buying food, a basic human need, and think I’m fat.
“I saw Jess at the supermarket. What a fatty” they might say.
And never would I ever skip a workout two days in a row, especially after eating Moe's for dinner the night before.
I laid in my bed for a little while. I opened Instagram on my phone and saw a feed of beautiful, skinny and fit women/men on beaches or at the gym or drinking protein shakes. Old me would have sat there for hours scrolling through the pictures and planning my three hour workout for when I got off of work to make up for my messed up morning and eating schedule.
But I didn’t.
I got up and I walked right past everything, the mess I made in the kitchen trying to clean up and the grocery bag from this morning and I stripped down. I drew a bath and I listened to the Avett Brothers and I took out a pen and a notebook began writing, resulting in this reflection.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? We place so many rules, regulations, and rituals on ourselves in hopes to become better. Fitter. Stronger. Healthier. Skinnier. Because once we achieve those ideals we will be successful right?
I'm not saying you shouldn't have drive or ambition. That you shouldn't listen to constructive criticism from your peers, family or own brain.
I'm saying that there is so much more to life than your weight. I can guarantee you apply to college they don't ask for your weight on the common app. When you apply for your first job, there isn't a space for you to indicate how much you weigh. When you get married, the priest doesn't include the number you read on the scale that morning in your vows.
I lost 50 pounds between the ages 14-17 and I gained back about 25 between 17-19. And you know what?
All of it. Being overweight in the first place at a young age, having to diet and go to the gym in middle school when all of my friends were eating pizza.
What would you say if I told you that every day from 14-16 I went to the gym for an hour and a half, minimum, and did the elliptical. Would you believe me?
What if I told you that I cried on my 17th birthday because I felt so fat and I couldn't make myself eat the ice cream cake, mint cookie crumble flavored (my favorite), that my parents bought custom made for my sister and I because I felt so fat.
Would you believe me?
All of that being said, I am blessed.
I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. I have two beautiful sisters, one who supports me and lets me call her at all hours of the day crying over stupid things like my banana-protein-pancake meltdown I had a few hours ago. The other, at only eight years old, looks up to me like a role model.
I have found friends who don't judge me when I go on rants or scream at the top of my lungs because I feel guilty about something I ate.
I have a job. And even though it wasn't given to me on a silver spoon, an education at a university I adore.
So today I had a meltdown.
But I now realize that it is okay. I'm not perfect. I will probably never be a fitness model. I am a healthy size and I have healthy blood and I don't faint in public places anymore. I not only have to be healthy for myself, but I need to be a good role model for my little sister.
Although skipping a workout gives me anxiety, I have found the strength to be able to move on.
And while this morning wasn't perfect, and tonight probably won't be, I'm going to be ok.
That's the beautiful thing about recovery, the comfort that no matter what happens- you will be ok.
(This post was originally shared on the Odyssey Online)
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
― C.G. Jung
Authenticity is dead and has become replaced with superficiality based on outward appearances alone. I feel as if it has become evident that people have forgotten what exactly it means to be human. With the fake eyelashes, hair extensions, tans. Exercising and eating healthy not for health reasons but for vanity. Playing "cool" in terms of our feelings towards others--yes we are all guilty of it. I know I am. But why do we do this?
A human, is by nature--authentic.
In our pure, raw state, makeup-free and naked, which for many of us is only immediately after we step out of the shower (for some, not even then), we are just humans. Humans with thoughts, emotions, intentions, hearts, brains, and blood pumping through our bodies.
But for some reason, we are constantly trying to fight this--not only superficially, but emotionally, too. We live our lives with our guards up, always refusing to become intimate with those close to us--hiding our feelings for others when they arise, choosing to leave relationships before we get "tied down" or "whipped," ignoring texts, leaving people on "read" to act like we don't care, purposely avoiding eye contact with those around us, creating problems which don't exist when things seem to be "too good to be true." This isn't just the case for our romantic relationships, but our friendships, too.
This time last year, I fought my feelings tooth-and-nail. I planned to be Pre-med, and told everyone I was dead-set on becoming a doctor. Doctors make a lot of money, I thought to myself, and I knew I wanted to make a lot of money. I had been surrounded by those with financial issues during my youth and prioritized making money over happiness. While I struggled to obtain a C+ in Physics and Chemistry, I flourished in my English courses--my professor raising an eyebrow at me when I told her I was a Biology/Pre-med major.
Let me tell you something: the day I changed my major to what I had always wanted to do since high school--journalism, was one of the best days of my entire life. I remember walking into Blodgett Hall, the home of the communications department at Adelphi, and feeling instantly at home. My adviser was the chairman of the department and greeted me with a warm welcome. As my class schedule changed from Physics and Chemistry, to Introduction to News-writing and Spanish, I felt the elephant that had been sitting on my chest lift.
That same semester, I worked my actual ass off--and loved every single second of it. I was published on the front page of my local paper, The Times Union (which resulted in being offered an internship there), became Editor in Chief of The Odyssey Online at Adelphi University, was offered my own blog for the Times Union, became an intern at Emerging Market Views (which is a project of one of my previous professors who offered me the position), started a job as a student reporter for Adelphi's Office of Public Affairs, and was recently offered the position of a writer/video producer at Two-Buttons-Deep.
I know, I kind of sound cocky. However, I reassure you I'm not. Of course I'm not the best writer in the world. I probably won't win a Pulitzer any time soon. I commute 45 minutes because I love my school so much. I am constantly stressed--my days are always booked at least 12-hours in advanced, sometimes people comment awful things on my articles and blog posts like "you're a terrible writer," and what not, and I literally have $0.53 in my bank account.
But what I can also tell you, is that I have never been this happy in my entire life. Because for the first time in a long time, I am being 100% myself.
Why are we so scared to reveal ourselves, to let ourselves fall in love, to go to school for what we actually WANT to do, or to let our connections to those around us deepen? Why are we so terrified of being intimate, raw, and HUMAN?
Maybe it's because becoming vulnerable makes us authentic. And being authentic makes us vulnerable. And being vulnerable makes us susceptible to pain, to being hurt.
We don't want to wear our hearts on our sleeves, live paycheck to paycheck, go makeup-free or just say 100% what is on our minds all the time, because if we do that we can be hurt.
But, when we do this, when we live unauthentic lives, we miss out on the the beauty which is the human race. When we dehumanize ourselves, we are denying the amazing things life has to offer like falling in love with someone, getting butterflies in your stomach when you see them, wanting to scream at the top of our lungs because we finally got that stupid article we wrote a month ago published--things like the sensation felt from sitting outside and just letting the sun graze your skin, and allowing the sounds of the wind consume you as it passes by you.
C.G. Jung once said, "the privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are," which leads me to ask you this: Are you truly being yourself, or are you conforming to the societal norms which constrict you?
And finally, are you happy?
(This post was originally shared on the Odyssey Online)
Popular smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal, Lose it, and the like are slowly infiltrating our daily lives. These applications set calorie limits for us depending on our weight-loss goals. (i.e. gain weight, lose weight, or maintain). By forcing us to track our calories we consume and the calories we burn via exercise, these applications can produce and invoke eating disorders quite easily, as they remove the focus from health and well-being to calories-in-calories-out. I began using these applications, Lose it specifically, when I was just 13 years old. I had just gotten my first I-phone and I was tired of being called fat, so I just simply downloaded the app and began tracking my calories. My body retaliated to the 1,200 calorie a day goal by giving me a few broken bones, fainting spells, and what ultimately lead to a pattern of disordered eating which I still grapple with today.This is dangerous, and can ruin your basal metabolism . When you restrict your caloric intake, your metabolism slows because your body thinks it's starving to death (even if you are technically overweight), so whenever you decide you don't want to eat 1,200 calories a day and go back to 1,500-2,000 you will ultimately gain weight- which is exactly what happened to me.
After a long battle- six years- with calorie counting apps, I have decided to delete them from my smart phone. Here are five things I'd honestly much rather do than sit around tracking my caloric intake all day:
1. Eat When I'm Actually Hungry
And eat healthy. Calorie counting apps place a stress on the caloric composition of a food, not the health benefits associated with it. For someone who is restricting calories, they may think it's O.K. to eat 1,200 calories of muffins, french fries, and fried-chicken- as long as they eat less than 1,200 calories then they'll lose weight, right? Well the problem with this, is that there is much more to nutrition and food choice than calories alone. A 1,500 calorie diet filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean protein is much more beneficial for your overall health and longevity. When you're counting calories chances are you will have an issue balancing when to eat what amount of calories and will end up relying on a food schedule, eating when you are full and ignoring your hunger pains when you're starving because you already hit your calorie goal. This causes issues with appetite and messes up your natural hunger signals. Just eat healthy foods when you're hungry and stop when you're full.
2. Listen to Music
Throughout my life, music has always been my "rock". No matter what was happening in my life, during the ugly and the beautiful, I always plugged in my earphones and played Mumford and Sons or Dave Matthews Band as a way to cope. Hey, you know when music sounds the best? When you're not deprived of your basic caloric needs as a human, and you can actually pay attention to the lyrics, chords, and melodies instead of the sound your stomach is making.
3. Paint my nails
Or just take care of myself. I'm going to go ahead, paint my toe nails, dye my hair that color I've been wanting to forever, take a bubble bath, heck drink a glass of wine- my body is my temple and it deserves to be taken care of. My body has never done me wrong, all it does is keep me alive and able to do my favorite things... I ask you to do the same and STOP PUNISHING YOUR BODY FOR TAKING UP SPACE!
4. Do my favorite things.
Do you like running? Hiking? Fishing? Reading? Golfing? I'm going to run more because the sensation of my feet on the pavement makes me freaking happy and I miss it so much. Whatever your favorite pastime may be- go ahead and do it. You'd be surprised how much time you spend logging your calories on MyFitnessPal or Lose It. Probably at least three hours a day. Three hours a day is the equivalent of running almost an entire marathon, hiking about 13 miles, and reading at least one awesome John Green novel.
5. Spend time with my family and friends
At the peak of my eating disorder and obsession with calorie counting, I would actually decline invitations to parties, social gatherings, and dinners because I was nervous I wouldn't have enough calories to eat at the event, and if I didn't eat everyone would raise an eyebrow at me. This is terrible. Eating disorders thrive on isolation, and tracking calories promotes isolation because if you isolate yourself you will be more likely to stay within your calorie goal. Honestly, I'd rather go out with my friends and run an extra mile in the morning, than spend my night alone pretending I'm too busy to hangout.
These are just five things I'd rather do than count calories, but I'm sure as the time I spend away from these awful apps increases, so will this list.
Are you struggling with disordered eating/ distorted body image? Call these hotlines:
NEDA Helpline:(800) 931-2237
(This post was originally shared on the Odyssey Online)