Until recently, my relationship and interest with horoscopes was extremely surface level. Unwilling to let my life be influenced or narrated by something, that seemed to me, pretty far fetched. I’m not sure I believe in any greater force taking control of my life. I’m more confident in life’s randomness and my ability to react however I choose effective. But recently my friend brought to my attention a very intriguing app, “Co — Star.”
While I won’t put complete faith in what my horoscope says is “meant to be,” there is definitely a lot I can unfold into reality. True or false, these statements can be informative. New ways of thinking can always be beneficial, if done cautiously. Going after big life changes that could work out, while understanding the risks if they don’t, is something I consider brave. However, being prepared and accepting of re-evaluation and adjustment is vital. I believe in taking chances on myself, trusting myself. Following my truth, influenced by my own gatherings, not the universe’s. There must be balance between what’s comfortable and what’s exciting. What’s realistic and what’s risky. Where life leads and how we steer.
Something I recently read while diving deeper into the details of my “transits,” according to Co — Star, really stuck with me. “Perfect is the enemy of good.” I whole-heartedly agree with this statement. If the goal is perfection, there will inevitably be disappointment. Expectations are usually always the cause of unnecessary worry. So how do I piece together my truths compared to those given to me based on my time of birth?
“My feelings are facts.” There are moments of truth to be found within just being. I can trust in myself. Speak my truth, understand my truth. Adapt and influence toward the truth I seek. But, I won’t ignore my feelings. I nurture and accept the evidence of my emotions.
Horoscopes undoubtedly create overthinking. I vow to be protective over my thoughts. Stay true to who I am and what I want without getting carried away in what the “universe” wants for me. There is definitely something to be said for feeling validated. Whether your horoscope keeps you hopeful with wishful things to look forward to or provides comfort that those shit feelings aren’t without purpose, validation in things working out. Being okay. Reminders of the normalcy of our struggling.
Another message I followed while evaluating my horoscopes is the idea that not all aspects of my life will thrive together. While my creative side could be strong one day, bringing successes in my work-life, my romantic life could be lacking. I try to recognize the parts of myself and my life that feel strong when they do and take the focus away from whatever may be weaker in those times. Understanding there will always be pieces fitting easily, progressing and others put aside for later. When you work on a puzzle, you work on one section at a time.
If I left my life in the hands of the universe, I’d be giving up my ability to create growth and positivity for myself. However, I can come to my own conclusions from what is offered. Use new ideas as guidelines for self-reflection. Possible goals and hopes I haven’t thought of before. Imagination is my editor. No matter how or when I was brought into this world, the ability to transform my life into one I feel proud of is in my power. I’ll hear what the universe has to say and then make my own decisions. ;)
Grief is one of those hardships that cannot be taken away or “fixed.” I can’t change my attitude and get a life back that I lost. However, with perspective comes purpose. An attitude adjustment enables growth through my pain. Reasoning to my hurting. A chance to find new strength, an opportunity to extend love. Love inwards, appreciating my ability to carry on. How brave I am. Not only to walk through life without you by my side, but to lead others while I do. Love to those around me who also grieve. Compassion and understanding while encouraging persistence. The drive to push forward begins with the key I hold. Acceleration depends on the energy I exert.
Grief is one of those scars that gets picked at every so often. Breaks open and bleeds. Gasping for fresh air but the air only makes it sting. The pain feels as raw as the day it was created. But it’s not. It’s been healed, over and over. You are not broken, you’re a fighter. You live beyond your scars. Damage to your heart, yes. Damage to your body, probably. Exhausted, overworked, recovering. Everyone’s damaged. How do you choose to take care of your wounds? Leave them open, allow the suffering? Quick band-aid to cover-up and hide what’s sore? Or do you pour some salt water on them? Feel the pain that offers healing. How do you view these burnt out pieces of yourself? Are they a part of you you’d like to accept and love? Find value from, protect and one day be proud of? Or do you want them removed? Taken away from your existence. Ignored and neglected.
I find the most motivating way to transform my bruises, my bumps, my burns, is to ignite a fire from within. Meld these pieces together with all the good, all the healing, all that’s life. Because life is never simply good or bad, it’s all of it at once. Learning how to find value from each piece will navigate purpose to your being. Understanding that happiness is not the goal, nor is defeating sadness. The goal is to live through it all while the desire to keep living is prominent. Why? Because despite all the twists and turns, meaning is gathered and magic is found. I get it now. I get what it means to live a successful life. It makes sense when you see it through sparkly eyes. Hopeful, authentic, open, honest vision. My tears sparkle too, reflecting from the light. The light always remains. I hold onto it because I can.
The struggle between when to “let things flow” and fighting for what’s desired can be very confusing. A blurred line that can lead to overthinking and anxiety. A choice, that with balance, can be made wisely as well as naturally. When is giving up really letting go? When is letting things flow really lack of determination?
I go through phases. The “fuck it” phase tends to bring less stability but more freedom. More short-term joy and resistance to attachment, good and bad. This attitude feels very temporary. Relief and momentarily satisfying, but reality lingers in the background, distant and daunting.
I also have periods of time where my choices seem very driven. I’m in a place where I feel like making goals and seeing them through. Proving to myself I’m committed and hard-working is my true desire. The problem with these times is my ability to confuse what it is I’m seeking. Is this job/activity/commitment still making me happy, or am I in it because it’s a responsibility I dedicated myself to? Do I really like this man, or am I just holding myself accountable to follow through with giving him a chance? Is the place I’m living still suiting my needs?
It’s important to check in. Get to the root of my desires and ask myself if my strategy to achieve those goals is being honored. My “fuck it” phase may not be realistic, but it guides me to my natural calling. Letting things flow in and out of my life without worrying about what sticks in each moment. Opportunities always come and go, and sometimes it’s best not to be hung up on timing. Not to be overwhelmed by opportunities at all but just be present in the moment with myself and my surroundings. Maybe I can be driven to observe that. Loyal to my health and my happiness and whatever that requires. Follow my gut when something or someone doesn’t seem to add value to my best life anymore. Authenticity unlocks freedom. Let it go doesn’t mean be careless. Moving on from those things that no longer serve me is a commitment to living my best life, and that is a goal I can always be sure of.
With my recognition of my need to move apartments, discussed in my blog posts “Fight or flight?” and “Coping with Anxiety”, I was stuck with the burden of finding a new home. Having 2 months left on my lease, I knew I had time to be picky. It’s the season where places start popping up with availability and I didn’t want to settle too quickly. There is a specific beach I was hoping to live on. Holding out hope that I could find a place, on budget, and on the water. I bring my dog here regularly to swim and just a few weeks ago was blessed with the magical moment of swimming with dolphins right by the shoreline! I felt through my entire being that this was a sign. I trusted my patience would lead me to the perfect place fulfilling all my needs. Not even a full week later, I saw a listing. 2 days later, I took a tour. The exact spot where the dolphins were. On the ocean with a door to the beach. It’s perfect. I took it.
Life is a combination of luck and decisions. What happens to us and how we take those circumstances into our own hands. The attitude we present and carry throughout hardships. Our open mindedness and ability to create and cultivate opportunities. With a balance of allowance and proactivity, our best life is in our control completely.
Do you have a friend that just knowing they’re in your life makes you feel unstoppable? You never feel alone and you always know who to turn to. You feel like you can do anything. Like failing isn’t possible with them by your side. Your lifeline and your mirror. Reflecting all you should admire of yourself. Shining light on your beauty. They encourage you to be the best version of yourself and remind you of your capabilities. They offer support but allow you the space to support yourself, because their faith in you is unwavering.
These friends build you up, but only with the blocks from your collection. They absorb and retrieve back to you the power you supply. They call you out when you’re being unjust, but are soft on you when you need the cushion. They let you complain and they let you vent, but they also give it to you straight when the complaining is only hurting you. They encourage tears because tears are real, but they hand you tissues when you’re drowning in them. They inspire good decision making and self love. They leave you with zero doubt of their intentions. “Treasure friends” make you feel good about yourself. Being around them makes you more confident. Trusting them, and in return trusting yourself. They inspire you to do more, work harder, accomplish and create goals and set after the best opportunities.
These types of friends could be years in the making, but they can also be connections you’ve just made. There is no rule book on how these people come into your life. There is no guideline on who these people are, what they like, what they do. The trick is to always be prepared to leave a door open for them. To understand yourself and your feelings enough to know when one comes knocking. So how do you know if you’ve found one? It’s a feeling.
Are you able to be completely and utterly yourself? Do you feel judged or do you feel praised? Your mistakes feel understood, and your growth and maturity is expected. Your progress feels acknowledged and your future already admired. The type of connection that makes love’s worth recognizable. What distinguishes us as people. The true gift of human life, the feeling that moves us most. If you don’t have friends you really LOVE, there are ways to proactively look for some. Immerse yourself in your passions. Don’t hide from social situations, even if they’re challenging for you. You will find others in the same boat, awaiting more passengers. Put yourself out there. Give yourself the opportunity to meet people, and to be met yourself.
Authenticity will guide you along your most successful path. Attracting the right people, and the right opportunities. Navigating through more discovery of what your life can look like and how you want your life to be.
It’s okay to be picky, but be sure to offer real chances. Are you sure of their intentions? Do you understand their struggles? Friendship is give and take. Your hand must be given in a way that can be gripped. No greasy fingers, no “too slow” tricks. If you want a fair chance to be seen and to be loved, you owe it to give that chance yourself. The same goes for any and all relationships. Open your eyes to what’s possible, and you just might be surprised at what’s offered.
Being a good friend yourself can be just as gratifying. Feeling that ability to guide someone you care about to a more loving state of mind. Seeing worth and reassuring confidence in someone who always deserves to see it.
Being a good friend is a quality I am most proud of. I like to make people happy in general. Compliments to strangers, guidance to those who struggle, appreciation to those who thrive. When it comes to my friends, I have a better idea on how to do this. I like to learn what cheers them up, and listen in on their calls to the universe. Getting to know someone, understanding their past, hearing their experiences, meshing with their desires, opens my heart to believing in their strengths and wishful healing for their bruises.
I know very well that self-growth and happy, healthy living must come from within. I also know how important support systems are to that mission. That believing in yourself has to be done by yourself, but loneliness makes it difficult to stay motivated. Discovering the love language of those you care about is key. But, just being there to offer your love in your own way can also be enough.
Not only can being a good friend benefit your friend, but it can guide you as well. Most of the advice I offer can be self reflected. A reminder of the lessons I hope to live by. Parallel situations I’m able to step out of to offer guidance and in return apply to my own attitude. Life is hard. Our commitment to fight through the challenges is easier said than done. Our instinct when someone is upset is to wish for them to find a way to no longer be upset. However, when it is ourself that is upset, it can be easier to shut down and lose our battle gloves in the clutter. Lose sight of our strength and our ability to defeat these hurdles.
When you form a relationship where each person believes and wants success from each other, for each other, the limitations of the outside world seem to fade. The crutch you create for each other picks you up and holds you high. The courage you display for each other rubs off on your own behaviors. A good friend not only comes to your rescue when you need them, but they continuously encourage self-rescuing. What you hope for them turn into goals for yourself, and vice versa. When you look at someone else and only want good for them, the moves you make to maintain their happiness can truly effect your own mood and your own story. To have a friend like this and to be a friend like this simultaneously is such an unbelievably powerful thing. Life will stay afloat with just one of these connections to hold onto.
I will never forget what my neighbor said to me post weight loss transformation. A woman who I thought knew me. Who lived beside my struggles and must have recognized the pain and darkness that hovered over me for all the years I grew up next door. “Of course you’re happy now that you’re skinny.” As if it was the obvious answer. As if my happiness came AFTER my weight loss. As if my internal struggles go hand in hand with the way I look. NO. I treat myself according to the level of happiness I attain. The levels of happiness I hope to reach. The happier I am, the better I treat myself. I show my physical being the respect I believe I deserve.
I have an emotional response to anyone who appears uncomfortable with the extra weight they carry on their body. I remember the frustration that came with clothes shopping. The pain from chafing, the exhaustion from the simple activities of daily living. Vacation experiences restricted, lifetime opportunities teased and stripped from my reality. I will never forget the time my friend and I pushed our way to the stage of Train at Tortuga music festival in Florida. One of my favorite bands growing up performing some of my all-time favorite songs. The lead singer surprised the crowd, and the security, by inviting the front rows to jump up on stage with him. It was a rush. The most agile and athletic found their way to the stage first and got to live this once in a lifetime moment. My first and only move was to tell my friend I would take epic photos of her from the ground.
I feel a sense of overwhelming sadness for those who haven’t yet found a strategy to be truly comfortable with the body they live in. My empathetic instinct is followed by a rush of relief, pride and a reminder of my own strength. I know what it feels like to wish things were different but feel too stuck, defeated, lost, unworthy of an alternative. The first step to taking control of your health is learning how to love and accept yourself despite what society might say. How freeing it is to live by your own standards. How comforting it is to believe in your own potential. The effect compassion has on our physical self is direct. The control box to taking charge of the respect we deserve. Realizing we hold the power to determine how we feel about ourselves AND the actions we take to better ourselves. The weight loss journey just happens to be a straight forward vision into the effects we can initiate with the right mindset. It seems as though the only thing that can block our happiness is ourselves. It’s unsettling to know we hold the key to a happy life but some may never feel the urge to find it. Positive thoughts, encouraging affirmations, self-motivation and confidence open the gateways into loving and treating your body with the compassion it DESERVES.
The definition of a happy person is one who is excited about progress. Excited about life and living one’s best life. I know for a fact how uncomfortable it is to carry extra weight. I am free from that burden post weight loss and maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I also know how rewarding the weight loss journey is. Not just physically, but for mind, body AND soul. Read more about my process gaining mental & physical strength through exercise.
While I understand that I can't possibly connect or even know each individual's background, I hope I can inspire courage and commitment to health and self-love. Maybe you're currently on medicine that restricts weight loss, or you’ve sacrificed weight gain to allow a more important priority to your personal happiness. Are you keeping in mind goals for what your healthiest life looks like? Everyone’s story is different, but each and every one of us has the opportunity to supply love and kindness to the haven that is our body.
I am a strong supporter of body positivity. Viewing and promoting all versions of attractiveness. Diversity broadens the capacity of beauty that exists. Big-boned, curvy, flatter chested, thicker booty--you name it, I’m for it. Body positivity in my opinion means taking care of your body while encouraging acceptance and inspiring confidence for others to do the same. Loving, respecting and preserving our body as a safe and comfortable shelter. Inclusivity and appreciation to anyone who stands by their personal version of healthy. Everyone has beauty to offer. Viewing yourself and your image in a positive light because you know you’re nurturing and treating your body, whatever size with whatever scars, blemishes, etc. as the temple that it is. There is nothing more physically attractive than the glow that radiates from an individual whose happiness projects from within.
It isn’t changing who you are to strive to be the best version of yourself. If you read this and felt doubts creep in, question where those doubts came from. Which part of your life feels unsatisfying or questionable? How can you create a more rewarding and enjoyable environment for yourself? Put on your battle gear and make the changes you feel drawn to. You are stronger than settling. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin.
For so long I was missing the piece of me that pumped joy through my blood. The connection between what I saw and how I viewed it. The happiness I desired seemed impossible to my personal journey. Dimmed eyes with no idea of the vibrance they had the potential to hold. I settled. I gave up on the idea that pure happiness was in my future. I never knew that with a clear head and open eyes, I too could smile from my heart. Now I see in color. Always observing in a light that makes the little things sparkle. Surrounded by peace and beauty, the same peace and beauty that I used to ignore.
The most vital key to happiness is perspective. If you go about life seeking something, you’re missing something. If you're simply open to the universe, what you find is purely gained. Let the universe seek you with open eyes and watch the gifts you’ll receive. There is no need to drain or discourage yourself over searching for what you think you need. The surprises life supplies are inevitable and brilliant, be prepared to welcome them with open arms.