Your imperfections make you stronger.

I absolutely believe that any imperfection you have makes you stronger than the average person, stronger than you were before you obtained said imperfection, and stronger than you want to believe. I’m not saying to go out and look for them, but even if you do, your strength will show it.

What I mean by imperfections is absolutely opposite from what the media portrays as “imperfect”. Forget that you’re not a size 0, that your feet are slightly bigger than others, and your hair won’t fall perfectly. That’s all trivial, and needs to be forgotten.

What i’m really talking about are the things that were a part of us before we were even here, as well as things we obtain over time. Social circles, injuries, etc. Things like these are considered imperfections in today’s society (and of course, the things above, the hair, the pants size, they can all be used for the following push); I call it motivation.

Social Circles have been around since the beginning of forever. That’s something that hasn’t changed, and probably won’t. We fall into these circles at a certain point in our lives and it seems like we’re stuck there until we either (1) mold ourselves into the shape of another social circle, making us carbon copies (no no no, that’s bad, children), or (2) we create our own, one of our own distinct genre that can be shaped however you please; but destroyed just as easily. These can be used as motivation to be a leader, to build up your circles so strong that nothing can penetrate it, and you have the power to expand it or shrink it as you please. You are the leader of your life and who’s in it, don’t take that for granted.

Another firm belief is that injuries are the perfect opportunity to grow, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Injuries set you back physically and force you to refrain from everyday things like exercise or anything too physically demanding. This gives you the perfect opportunity to pause your busy life for a while and align your mind, making it bigger, better, and stronger. Slowly, you regain your strength, and soon enough you’re stronger than you were before. [Foot-note-that’s-not-really-a-footnote: Don’t go out hurting yourself, if it happens, just keep this in mind!]

The whole idea that “imperfections” make you stronger is why I so strongly have respect for anyone with a mental or physical disability. While I personally don’t think of them as “imperfect” by any means, I feel like they face challenges that the average person normally never would. They face everyday completely different than everyone else, yet I find that they embrace themselves and are able to find happiness in nearly everything. They don’t need the trivial drama or expensive indulgences to get by, they’re just happy.

They are truly stronger than any of us. I wholeheartedly believe that.

All in all, whatever your so called “imperfection” is, know that because of them, you are strong, you are bigger than the world may want you to believe, and in that, you are perfect.

~J.

You’re a Champion.

Platanus × hispanica leaves

This is a pretty picture, and i’m adding it because WordPress asked me nicely if I could.

It’s undeniably true that each and every one of us has a niche in this ever-changing, ever-mystifying world. That niche can be thought of as a tree, planted at birth, and growing as we are, as the world is. With every passing year, the tree grows and grows and grows, but never reaches a peak. It will grow branches of smaller, but equally significant niches that keep us going. Each of those smaller niches grow beautiful leaves over time, that signify the challenges we have to go through to keep the niche growing. As the beautiful challenges grow, peak, then die off as nature intended, our branches are allowed to grow further, and grow new leaves. Without these challenges, our niches wouldn’t grow, and they wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful.

As the world adjusts to our constantly moving lives, so do our trees. They grow new branches, new niches. The ones that don’t accustom you to be the most fit for this world fall, and are given to the Earth as tribute, as a token of the past. These tokens allow you to grow, they take each fallen leaf, each inch of that niche, and put it towards a new niche to be grown. The cycle is ever-changing, just as our lives are and our worlds. While our world changes, so do we, as much as we hate to admit it.

I find it completely amazing how we can become people that we always said we never would be; on the positive side, of  course. We are so ignorant to the worlds we don’t know, we never give them a chance to let themselves shine, therefore darkening our worlds. In any case, there are no exceptions to this human flaw. This year has been a huge revelation for me, and has brightened my world for the better.

As many people do, I would gawk at joggers and runners and say to myself “how could you possibly do that for FUN?” It seemed absolutely ridiculous to want to run in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, anywhere, really. It wasn’t until I was thrown into the environment by a friend that I saw the benefits this activity entailed.  Being able to run maybe .25 miles without being completely winded, I jumped into the environment half-hearted. With the encouragement of said friend, and others that truly believed I could do this (possibly even more than I did), I continued on the strange trail. nearly 6 months later, I can run a full 5k, i’m 20 pounds lighter, I feel more amazing and inspired than I ever have, and my world is truly brighter than it has been in a while.

My accomplishment may seem like a petty one to some, but to me, this is the beginning of an amazing journey. This branch of mine started growing from my tree the moment I was thrown into this strange environment, and with every run it gets a little longer. With my own encouragement and the encouragement of others, I am so excited to see just how long this branch can get; and, I fully intend to not let this branch fall.

To add on to my previous post (ienjoyyourfacialhair.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/cold-showers/) , these runs, along with cold showers, give you the most amazing feeling possible. If I can give you one piece of advice, besides loving yourself and striving to Be Love in each and every situation, it would be to run as far as you physically can, and then immediately take a cold shower. You will NEVER want to get out!

Be wonderful, live to the fullest potential, and run often, Peace Readers.

~J

Cold Showers.

I swear, after a long jog, these things are like gifts from GOD. It’s one of the main things that actually makes me pick up my pace once I finally enter my plat, and not growl at the neighbors upon entering my yard.

It’s one of those simple pleasures that i’m always rambling on about; It’s the tiny things in life that make us the person we are today. The itty-bitty puzzle pieces that make up that big picture. The cold showers in life. Everyday, I’m so grateful to be learning more and more about how the little things make us so happy, so enthralled to be living, yet take them for granted. I’m not saying be a Gratitude Nazi, but if we could take a second out of our day to stop and thank (yes, just “thank”…not one specific person, but to every person, simply thank), I feel we would be so much more enriched, and we’d enjoy these little moments, these cold showers, even more.

The cool thing about cold showers (I am just so punny!) is that they are one big necessary puzzle piece. First off, it builds your immune system, ups your metabolism, and the coolest of all, it keeps your body in rhythm. Since it deepens your breathing, it will help you sleep if you’re down and out, or it can be that wake up in the morning when Coffee just doesn’t do the trick. Who would have known?

Metaphorically, cold showers can be taken as something completely different. You know, other than a shower.

The way I’m looking at it, it’s something that people originally discard at first glance, but has so many hidden benefits, especially when you would least expect it. Cold Showers are indeed the path less traveled, the hidden land; a land we all have to individually discover on our own to decide if we would like to inhabit it. Like many things, they’re a blessing in disguise.

So, Peace Readers, I challenge you with this: Go out and find your cold shower. Embrace it, take it all in and consider it a release, because once you open your mind, you also open your heart.

~J.

Confidence is all in how you define it.

What I’ve learned from being a Life Enthusiast and observing the happiness of others (of course, while indulging in my own) is that there are so many types of “happiness” and what it means to be happy. Of course, happiness can be derived from Confidence in most situations, leading to the conclusion that there are indeed hundreds, even thousands of types of individual ways to be confident. This one thing I find absolutely amazing, and incredibly fascinating that every single one of us, regardless of our similar bodies and internal make-ups, are so different from one another.

I believe that it takes looking deeper than the deepest muscle tissue; I believe it takes believing longer than comfortable that each and every one of us is individual, and that’s one of the single-most important traits that connects us all. While we vouch for equality and try to say that we are really all the same, in the end, as long as you’re looking at the big picture, yeah, we are one; but, it’s the individuality that connects us all, and allows us to mingle with each other.

That’s where individual confidence comes into play. The way we look, interact with others and connect with nature is where this kind of thing derives. We all connect differently, so isn’t it only logical that the place we drag our confidence from is different too? I think so, at least.

Another thing I’ve realized is that confidence is one of the easiest thing that can be killed. It’s one of the most fragile beings, and in the same sense, one of the most sacred. It seems those who have lost their confidence become animals of their own device and try to drag the confidence out of everyone else they can find, in turn developing a sense of false confidence that the ego develops. In Eat, Pray, Love , Elizabeth Gilbert defines the ego as something that is always going to be there to bring you down and tell you you aren’t good enough. I feel as if those who have temporarily lost their confidence sometimes take sides with the ego, causing them to be so hateful. They have become their ego, therefore are this unpleasant, negative being. This is possibly one of the most annoying things. ever. 

That is the reason we need to keep our confidence high all the time by surrounding ourselves with those who will only bring us up, higher to our place of  enlightenment. The higher our confidence gets, the less fragile it becomes. We become bigger, taller, and stronger. We become ready to face the ego monsters and help tame them, turning them back into the people they once were, in hope that they will too one day become peace warriors.

Confidence is something we build, something we have faith in. Something we need in order to succeed.

And now, an illustration! (yay!)

“Free Hugs!”

Keep confident, Peace Readers!

~J.

Sometimes it’s just easier to sing.

Something I truly deeply love with all the TLC I have in me is the ability to dance around and sing out everything i’m feeling, turning it into a magical medley of sounds and emotions. It’s one of the things that I pour so much gratitude into, because I realize not everyone can do that. I realize i’m one of the lucky ones.

Because I realize that I am indeed one of the lucky ones, I do my best to take everything I possess and use it in favor of others, especially those who can’t (or don’t know how to) express just how they feel. I feel it’s in my Contrat de Vie to use my abilities in favor of others, in great hope that they will take the fruits i’m giving them and learn their own form of expression. I don’t mean to sound conceited when I say this, not in the least; i’m just aware and thankful of my wings that allow me to take flight. Soon then I am reminded of my journey, and I am reminded that I am indeed Love, that everyday by doing this, I can “Be Love”.

Of course, I am human and I have my outbursts of greed, that green little monster that takes over from time to time. In that moment, I think to myself, “how horrific would it be to live in a world where expression meant nothing, and some couldn’t express how they feel in the slightest? To put everything into a bottle until one day, the cork bursts?”. The Edgar Allen Poe imagery makes me shudder, and even the little green monster doesn’t want to interfere anymore. Once again, I am the lucky one to know how to overcome the feelings of greed and temptation of my own device.

There are days when my emotional expression is at an all time high, that I am literally sweating after I finish a song due to my exuberant bodily motions and my elevated volume levels as the song inches towards its most intense points.

These are the best moments.

I feel as if we all have these moments, where everything inside of us is combining at once to create the most powerful form of love imaginable (in our worlds anyways). Whatever the form of escape may be, it’s indeed a form of escape from reality and the dangerous outside world, and is absolutely vital in our lives, or else we may go mad.  On those days when you’re down and out, and you feel like you can’t go any further, you know you will always have that form of escape. It is your utopia in which you can visit anytime. You may not be understood by everyone, and that’s okay. As long as YOU understand that this place of escape is home, and this place is where you are the most comforted, then please, by all means, book an extended vacation there.

I saw a quote the other day that really made me think for a moment about its entirety. The quote reads, “When you feel like you’re going through hell, keep going.” I was unfortunately not able to find the author. I saw the quote and thought about that. It embodies what I’ve been trying to tell people for so long; when things are rough, no matter how rough they are, there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel and that light will always be there, no exceptions. If you’re going through it, you truly are going THROUGH it, and it can’t last forever. Your greener grass and brighter world is just around the corner, it’s just up to you to keep along the path you’re on and NEVER give up.

Your place of escape will help you along your path, and ease the blows. It will always be there, no matter what. The best part is, you can go anytime, and your “100% off” coupon never expires, and is completely reusable.

Find your escape, my peace readers, we all have one, it’s up to you to find it.

Much Love to infinity and beyond,

~J.

 

Love is indeed a Four-Letter Word.

Out of all irony, I had no idea what that phrase, “_______ is a four letter word” meant until mere weeks before I bought Jason Mraz’s new album. I thought it meant it was simple, an easy thing to understand; something that everyone can comprehend. I soon learned I was wrong in every way! You learn something new everyday.

As the days are going on, i’m learning more and more what the word “Try” means. That simple three letter word has never truly had to take effect on me until recently. As I said in my last post, (scroll down; you know you want to. Insert inappropriate wink.) I’ve just recently crawled out of an icky state. What i’ve gained from this experience, though, is better than anything I could have wished for. I’ve learned that life isn’t a free ride, and we all need to do our part to make our “dollar” worth the while. In that, i’m not being pessimistic, nor am I being a realist. I’m taking what I’ve learned, and picking it apart as I’ve been trying to do for the longest time. We all need to try. Try to do what? We need to try to take every experience and make it the absolute best; never take anything for granted. We need to try to give back to our friends, our family, our associates and most importantly, the Earth. We need to try to learn to love.

For some people, this can be an extremely difficult task. As Fred Rogers said, “Understanding Love is one of the hardest things in the world”; and I suppose it is; but I also suppose that it all depends on your viewpoint on exactly what “love” is.  No two people will ever, ever have the same idea of what Love is, because the word itself is so diverse and everyone can take it a different way; I guess that makes love kind of like snowflakes. or penises.

When I think of love, I, as a single person, think of so, SO many different things; and i’m young, I’ve only been able to see the very tip of the iceberg as far as what this word truly means. I think of the undying love a family has for each other; I think of the love friends have for each other that sometimes grows into the love that two partners may share. I think of the love for a pet, for celebrities, then I think of the love for some strange things like toasters or Nicki Minaj and I get a little flustered; but I suppose that’s the place that I still need to learn. I think of love for nature, I think of just pure and true love that two people can connect with, that without the use of words, two people can share. A common bond; a reason.

My view of love may be completely different from yours; it may be similar, and we might share lots and lots of the same “loves”; but in my opinion, the only way two people could truly understand one another’s complete idea of Love is if they share the love for each other. I mean that in every sense of the phrase; not just for one another, but for yourself. In the great words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” I find this phrase absolutely astonishing, because this one fabulous drag queen closes each and every show with the reassurance that life will continue and you will find love, but you need to take that extra step at the very beginning of your journey, or even in the middle, to love yourself. Once you love yourself you’re promised a wonderful, lifelong relationship; and that’s the truth.

So, my loves, learn to love the idea of love; it’s everywhere, and it ‘aint going away. Even in the wreckage and ruins, there will always be a flower. Make love into whatever you may want, but always remember that you have the potential and willpower to Be Love. That, my Peace Readers, never goes away.

Oh, and also buy Jason Mraz’s new album, “Love is a Four-Letter Word”, on sale now at any sensible music store near you. 🙂

Be Love, my Peace Readers. Be Love.

~J

What was lost can always be recovered.

Bonjour, my Peace Readers. Recently, I’ve been going through my own emotional journey. The feeling of loss is overwhelming, especially when you’re feeling you’ve lost yourself. Oh, and when they say that things can’t happen overnight? News Flash: They Lied.

Somehow, someway, I had an overwhelming sensation of being on the outside looking in. The worst part was, I had no idea what happened. I kept trying to recollect things that I had done, said or thought, but nothing was clicking. My mind was in a complete and utter whirlwind, and no one even knew. It took a realization to get what exactly it was that I was beating myself up over. This is important, so listen closely, kids.

Sooner or later you learn something about yourself. It’s the same with every single person, which makes it so easy to connect and relate to people who have experienced this and had this realization (it’s with THAT realization that I instantly feel a blanket of warmth and connectivity envelope me). After a certain point, it begins to hit you that you need to STOP blaming everyone else for your heartbreaks and every time YOU fall down. Now sure, it’s not going to always be you to blame; but as I said in the RIDRA post (scroll down a while if you’re bobbled as to what I mean), things are almost never NOT somewhat your fault. What you’ll learn is to begin picking yourself up, to begin standing taller, and apologizing for pinning blame on others. What you’ll learn is that YOU are your own worst enemy (this is the optimist talking, so I mean to say that phrase in the absolute best way possible).

When you fall, it’s because you weren’t able to catch yourself the first time around. When you break, it’s because you took off your own armor. If you’ve ever noticed, before and after anyone tells you something bad about yourself, you were already thinking it, deep deep down, or even on the surface. Please believe me when I tell you NOT to believe the things you tell yourself so late at night. It seems that at that time (and i’ve noticed this in myself as well) is when you begin to tell yourself the worst of the worst. Your ego comes out and tears you apart; it happens to the best of us. Make sure you never let your guard down, the things you’re telling yourself aren’t true (unless, of course, those things are “I am Beautiful” and/or “I can be anything I see” and/or “don’t stoooop, beliiiieving, hold on to that feeeeeeeeeeling”) and you’re worth much more than that. Regardless, you will always be your own worst enemy; there’s no winning that fight.

But, there’s a way to power down the ego until it’s next to nothing.

The way I think of it, the Ego is like a bully. The only way it’s going to continue to tear you down is if you feed it and give it a reaction. The more you tell yourself that you’re beautiful and you can take on the world with one hand tied behind your back, or sing Journey lyrics (actually, portion yourself on that one, it might not be as healthy as it sounds), the weaker your ego will get, because that’s exactly what it DOESN’T want to hear. While this bully can’t move on to someone else, it’ll stay low and under the radar as long as you keep it down; and to do that, you need to continue flirting with yourself, even after you think the Ego’s gone.

And with that, I leave you. Until next time, my peace readers.

Au Revoir!<3

You’re Remarkable…in your own special way.

Am I the only one who has thought we were all connected in some sort of way? Like, I don’t mean to get biblical; but didn’t we all start in one place? Wherever mankind started, it did indeed start SOMEWHERE…wouldn’t that mean that we just simply branched off each other? Wouldn’t that mean we’re just family in the most mystical and difficult way to understand? It’s something I’ve always pondered. Maybe that boy I found cute today was my distant brother, and the girl who talked to me today about going tanning was my cousin. 

Something to think about. 

And if by some means, we are indeed all connected, then why do we fight so much? Why must we hate? Aren’t we supposed to love our family? Like I get it, family fights, but come on, guys. Time to pick up your toys, kiss and make up. 

——

One phrase that I can’t get over is a Jimi Hendrix quote that we’ve all heard a thousand times (at least). It won’t get out of my head, and I’m trying to dig deep into it to see if I can get in on the action. The quote goes: 

When the Power of Love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace.

(pondering for 20 minutes as to how to approach this, here we go): Look back for a moment at when you were little. Even though your parents may or may not have instilled values in you, you still wanted to be the best. You wanted the coolest toys or the newest bike or the prettiest dolls. What happens when you do indeed have that? You seem to have a gravitational pull towards you that we now call power. The one with the most of the best of one thing seems to get the most attention, and with much attention eventually comes power. That goes to your head and after that it’s Chronicle all over again. You love that feeling though, don’t you? 

Switch it around now; recently I was reading in front of a group of little kids, and we were trying to talk about the value of being nice to others, doing good, and “filling your buckets”. When we went around the room asking kids nice things they can do, it stunned me what some of them said. It was even more powerful what they said when we asked what bad things they could say to people were. One that struck me hard was when someone offered “I wish you were never in my life”. I was stunned for a moment before moving on, but then began to mentally pick it apart, turn it around, and be one with my reciprocal. “I wish you were never in my life”, turned around is “I am so grateful to have you in my life”, which turns into “thank you for making an impact”, which turns into “I Love You”. The power of LOVE allowed me to turn around that phrase and make it into the most POWERFUL phrase we can say. That would turn LOVE into POWER, which would in turn brighten the world tenfold. 

Live, Laugh, and share the Power of Love, my peace readers.

~J ❤  

Tea is beautiful.

Today I was sitting reading my book that I still haven’t finished in over 4 months, accompanied by a cup of tea (officially my FAVORITE activity), and I happened to look in my cup. Now I understand i’m one weird mofo, but I can’t be the only person who has thought of this. Think about how tea is made, all it really is is a bunch of dried, crushed up herbs put into a permeable bag. When that bag gets into the hot water though, man, that’s when the magic starts (this would be a good time to start setting up a drug test for me). The herbs seem to release their scent and taste and every fiber of their being into this once bland liquid, making it into something amazing. Turning this simple liquid into a wonderland of delight, it warms me from toe to nose.

Thinking about it now, I think it would be beautiful for every one of us to enact as a tea-bag (dear dirty minds, I know what you’re thinking, because I have one too, so shut down) and spread our individuality and color onto others, all those others boiling cups of water, and help them find theirs, whilst maintaining our own. First, though, we need to find our own. Once we do that, we can turn this “melting pot” into a teapot of various herbs, making something like…a super tea. Doesn’t that sound nice? Some people are misguided, some don’t know where their path is, and that’s what makes them hot water, and it’s our job to help guide them.

Jazz, that guy who can turn drinking tea a deep experience.

Anyways, I’m really trying to get another show at AS220, guys (trust me, I’ve tried with a bunch of places. I’m really trying). I’d love to get another show up and running, but as of now, academics and all getting in the way. It happens. But I promise, the minute I get a show, I’ll be posting.

Thanks for reading, sorry to cut this one short. Love you all, live long and prosper.

~J.

Be Love.

A virtue I have recently learned to hold close to me is the virtue of being love. Rather than just speaking love, or trying to find love, I’m trying to learn to embody it; to truly Be Love. Where I’m getting this revelation? Well let me explain first where I found the original phrase, “Be Love”.

A couple years ago, I was researching Jason Mraz and everything about him (what else is new?) and I stumbled upon his colorful collection of tattoos (by the way, all of the information I researched is now memorized after repeated research; am I a good fan or what?). He has a rooster on his lower back, which he explains in his CD/DVD combo of “Live at the Eagles Ballroom”: “The rooster is the first guy up in the morning. He wakes everyone up with his song; it might not be a good song, but it is in fact his song. Plus, you know, a cock is always the first thing up in the morning”. and to this day, i’m inspired to get some sort of rooster on my body. He has a tattoo on his chest that says “RESTAREA”, but one that really struck me was a tattoo he has on his right forearm. It’s a simple one; a Circle, with a smaller Triangle in the center of it. Outside the northern perimeter of the circle, “BE LOVE” is inscribed. The simple symbol said a thousand words to me; none of which were the real meaning of the tattoo, but instead created my own meaning. As I researched further (this is more recent), I found the LA Ink video where Jason actually got the tattoo from Kat Von D.  He explained that his friend had a revelation himself that instead of there having to be a condition to receive or give love, he learned he could actually BE love. The circle means wholeness all in itself, and the triangle resembles affection and gratitude (my first thought was that the triangle was mind, body, spirit, and the circle connected them all). Honest to God, what a guy. What an image, what a PURPOSE.

Now if you haven’t been able to tell by now, Jason Mraz is such a giant inspiration to me. I’ve deemed myself the biggest fan, but i’m sure thousands of you will be willing to fight me for that title. I became a fan back around 2008-ish, when I first stumbled upon his CD, “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” I sang “I’m Yours” for a talent show and after that I continued to get more and more into his music. His music and his overall person gradually changed me, and the way I saw life. As I deciphered his lyrics, it became to clear to me what his message was, and it also became clear that was the message I wanted to convey, to tell my audience; well, my own version of it.

My “Big Boom” moment was when I saw him at the 2010 Life is Good Festival. Now first off, the festival itself was so uplifting and optimistic, my ear-to-ear smile was unfathomable. But, seeing him up on stage truly changed me. My idol, there, on stage. For those two hours I felt like he was singing to just me, and at the same time I felt extremely unified with the crowd as we all sang along to all his lyrics, swaying in time. He called a boy and a girl up on stage for SanDisco RaggaeFornia (I would have MELTED if I got called up there, but instead I just enjoyed the other two’s happiness), and it turned out the guy had that same tattoo as Jason. Now for all I know, it could have been a whole other tattoo.  All I knew was, between the message it conveyed, and my desire to have the same tattoo as him, I have had a set goal to get that tattoo. Now in that moment, jealousy maaaay have gotten the better of me; but once again, that’s not the only reason I plan on getting that tattoo. Now call me unoriginal and a copy cat, but i’m determined.

But yeah, when I turn 17, that baby’s gonna be on my arm, and i’m unfathomably excited.

Be Love, my peace readers. Embrace it, embody it, water it and give it sunshine.

I love you all, see you soon.

~J.

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