Spirituality and Self-help

ON GROWING UP AND GROWING OLD

Hi, I’m Riley. I’m 23, and I’m slowly but surely growing up. Though I live with my parents, I went “away” for college (two hours away) and had an adult job for a total of six months before moving back in and taking a wonderful, fulfilling internship. That adult job was a horrendous, anxiety-producing gig that forced me into therapy which subsequently changed my life and helped me make better choices. The job produced a six month low, then a month-long high, but now, I’m on the brink of another low. Life is funny that way: up down up down up up up. While I don’t want to be ruled by my circumstances, it is difficult when you’re learning things for the first time on your own and with minimal safety nets. It’s extra hard not to let your circumstances rule your mindset at my age. This new low i...

MY STRUGGLE WITH SELF-LOVE

I have always struggled with self-love. Of course, I took care of myself (never took any heavy drugs and I have never gotten too drunk and forgot what I did) and I respected myself (I don’t do things that could potentially ruin my reputation) but I never really *learnt* how to love myself. When I thought of myself, all I could ever see were my flaws – why is my face covered with pimples and blackhead? Why am I so skinny? Why do I still look 12 when I’m actually 20? Why do I look like a demented horse when I laugh? Where are my eyebrows? So really, what’s there to love about me? I would find it so easy to love someone else wholeheartedly, and I would always make sure that they were happy all the time, which resulted in me ripping myself apart to ensure that they are kept whole. I would star...

HOW I FIND INNER PEACE WITH CROCHET

When I was a young child, I would watch my grandmother and mother create beautiful dresses made of silk garments, warm sweaters from yarn and creative images from embroidery. Soon, they taught me how to create as well, passing down their passion for handcraft down to me. I remember the day my mother and I were crocheting. We were sitting quietly in our living room, classical Arabic music was playing in the background, we had some Arabic kleicha on our living room table (Arabic homemade cookies) and mint tea in a glass cup. The vibe was extremely soothing and relaxing. That day, she was teaching me how to make a scarf. We both had our own crochet hooks and yarn. Mine was red and hers was pink. She would start to create the base masks and I would watch and follow her lead. We wouldn’t speak ...

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

We can pretend it’s not coming or keep our head in the sand, but the future will come just the same, bringing with it change, decisions, challenges and new opportunities. If we do not take today to prepare for the future, we run the risk of missing out on all the chances tomorrow will bring. Preparation is the gateway that allows us to achieve our goals, the key that gives us access to the change we so desire. A new year means a new opportunity to prepare ourselves for the lives we want, to build habits that will equip us for success. We work hard every day, but we don’t always work with intention. Preparation requires us to know what we want, to have an understanding of what direction we need to go. In order to prepare for the future, we need to keep one eye on what’s coming while fully i...

3 I’S IN LIFE: IDENTITY, INTEGRITY AND THE INTERNET

It’s 2018, and it’s safe to say we have officially launched ourselves into an entirely new way of living. Our everyday lifestyles are now heavily influenced by technology, along with a gift and a curse known to us all as the internet. With online platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and more, our lifestyles have changed in response to the glamorous, laid back and fun lifestyle that is so commonly broadcasted by celebrities and popular individuals with large followings for no clearly credible reason. It’s hard for anyone to argue that the internet is a place they know nothing about or don’t visit often, especially when it’s so easily accessible and undeniably mind capturing. With so much of our time and energy being devoted to either indulging in the online world or creating conten...

THIS IS YOGA

I looked to my left and see a diamond, can’t be more than 14 years old. Her thick black hair tossed up at the top of her head as she stared at her reflection in the mirror. She was small, but strong and was contorting her body in ways I could only imagine to do with my own. I felt wrong watching her. As if I were invading a sacred space. I was in awe of the strength and immense power that vibrated through her mat onto the hardwood. I could feel it seep into my own. I could feel it bleed into my veins. I was imagining what would happen if she utilized every speck of matter that radiated throughout her body. 14 years old, She couldn’t be more than just 14, and as I remembered myself at 14, I remembered life was always too serious to be played with, I remember holding hands under picnic...

A BROKEN RHAPSODY

This is her story. This is my story. This is many girls’ story. A rising anxiety. A devastating envy. A awful jealousy. A low self esteem. Why her? Not me? Is she better than me? All you want is that love in his eyes. That acknowledgement from the crowd. Distorted body in a broken mirror. You search and search. What is wrong with me? Mum says you are beautiful, you deserve the world. Dad says to follow your heart. Sister say to be wise. What does your soul say? Be happy. I want to be happy. Break the mirror for good. Take a stand. Love yourself. Why do men love other women? Because they love themselves. Why does your family loves you? Because you love you. And it is only you. You, you, you. You thought those words, big forehead, hippopotamus, too nice, too dumb you heard as a teenager woul...

THE SELF-HELP DILEMMA: LEARNING TO TRUST YOUR INTUITION

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the self-help resources available to you? As a holistic health coach and wellness podcaster, I am constantly surrounding myself within the self-help community. As much as I adore learning and growing on this path towards wellness, it can be difficult to strike a healthy balance; a balance between growing your self-awareness and expanding as an individual, but also trusting that you’re completely perfect JUST​ as you currently are. It seems that a majority of us “self-help seekers” are continually striving to be a future (and “better”) version of ourselves, and while there is nothing wrong with seeking outside guidance, we seem to have lost touch of the most important resource we have. Our intuition. Perhaps we need to give ourselves a little more credit ...

FACING THE DARKNESS TO FIND THE LIGHT

Are you prone to holding onto emotional pain or grudges? Carrying past negative emotions can be highly toxic to our mental wellbeing. We can all put on a front and act perfectly fine, but what’s going on inside is what truly matters. I always thought the “right” way to deal with negative emotions was to mask them with positive affirmations or thoughts, and even though that can help in the moment, quite often this is just a temporary fix or disguise because sooner or later our true feelings will arise again. Recently though, I discovered how meditation can help with healing emotional pain and why it is vital to address these underlying issues. I always had a fear of being on my own. I HATED my own company and always needed others around me. Other people were a distraction to the negative th...

FEBRUARY TAROT MESSAGE: THE FOOL

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” –Anaïs Nin “The Fool” arrives to guide us through February with the spirit of fearlessness and adventure. Like the unicorn, leaping off a cliff, she reminds us of our lust for life and our ability to free fall into previously uncharted territory; the vast space where our dreams can become reality. The Fool is the first of the major players in the tarot and she comes to us with a sense of spontaneity and newness.  Think of her with the energy of a newborn.  When we look at a newborn, we imagine the multitude of adventures that await them.  The world is their oyster, so to speak.  In the same way, The Fool can remind us that we, too, have unlimited possibilities ahead of us, exi...

UNREAD CHAPTERS

There are parts of our story that we find hard to read over again. Sometimes when we start to re-read certain parts or revisit chapters in our life, we may start pulling away from others; sometimes we need some time for ourselves. Giving yourself some time to process and relive these moments may overwhelm you and space may be needed, but it’s not your responsibility to make the others understand your story or process. The personal journey inwards is sacred, it belongs to you and it’s your choice how to live it and feel it through. Reading these chapters filled with intense feelings and perhaps unresolved situations may trigger buttons you thought were no longer active in you. But that’s what every journey is all about; it’s about walking the path and not knowing what you will find. If you ...

UPROOTING

I looked around my childhood bedroom one last time. It was the morning of my return flight back to Denver, back to the life I had built 1,000 miles away from this one. I walked around the room trying to sear into my memory every inch of its strange shape. The vaulted ceilings and big windows. The area that once housed my desk. My tiny closet that still held some of my past in it, waiting for donation or to be sent to the landfill. Memories flashed into my mind: pacing my room while talking to my best friend on the landline in a language that only we seemed to understand; typing away on my computer wondering if I could actually become an author when I grew up; smoothing out the comforter on my bed while listening to my mom reciting advice from her library of life experience. This was the sp...

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