The (Un) Caged Bird

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." – Rumi


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Self-Love Celebration Month Day 2/7 – 2/12

The second installment from my daily self love posts, day 7 – 12.  Enjoy!

 

Self Love Celebration, Day 7

“When we have the courage to let the walls down – to know and embrace ourselves, despite our human failings, we also open the door to connecting in a more caring, empathetic, intimate way with the ones we love and with all living beings. Our brains are wired for survival, but also for empathy. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people’s pain. Let us learn to love ourselves so we can be more open and compassionate to others, and so we can take down the walls that limit who we can be and what we can contribute. The quotes below are intended as inspiration for your inward journey.” – via Psychology Today, The 50 Best Quotes on Self Love

Self Love Celebration Day 8

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh”

Tiny Buddha, the site which hosts the article below, 21 Tips to Release Self-Neglect and Love Yourself in Action is a great website for all sorts of life advice. I’ve been receiving a weekly email from them for a year or so and find an applicable article in every digest. Enjoy. 🙂

Self Love Celebration Day 9

Isn’t loving yourself a selfish thing you say? Nope, healthy self esteem and setting loving boundaries are not conceited, ego driven acts.

“When I talk of self-love, I am NOT advocating that we should stop caring for others, and just focus on ourselves. Being in service and giving back to your community is something I believe is very important. Showing kindness to others and demonstrating our caring for our loved ones is a key to having a fulfilling life. However, maintaining a balance is critical. You cannot keep giving to others if you do not give to yourself, first. It is like pouring water from a vessel: you cannot pour and pour without ever refilling it – eventually, it will run dry. Like that vessel, we, too, need to refill, recharge, and re-energize. ” – Self Love, Is It Selfish?

 

Self Love Celebration Day 10 –

(This one is not PG rated) If you’re going to talk about self love and leave sex out of the picture then you haven’t got a complete picture have you? We live in such a weird, hypocritical society where sex is used to sell almost every product imaginable yet there’s still negativity attached to real people in the flesh getting it on and women especially seem to harbor all of this guilt and embarrassment around being sexual beings.


“The bottom line here is that self-love equals better sex! The better you know yourself on multiple levels, the more you love and appreciate your strengths. The greater you honor yourself right now, the freer you will feel to express yourself in the bedroom, or even venture out to new locations. Experiencing healthy sexuality and enjoying the pleasures of the body involves awareness, authenticity, and presence. Truly releasing to pleasure, whether it is succumbing to orgasm or just gazing into your partner’s eyes, puts us in a vulnerable position beyond rational control.” – Awakening to Sexual Self Love

 

 

Self Love Celebration Day 11

As a person that seems to always walk the road less traveled, I have struggled a lot with approval and still do. Why? Because the road less traveled means that there aren’t many people along the way that you’re going and you aren’t likely to be encouraged. Ironically, the things that I deem the least important in my life receive the most attention and approval and the things that I’m extremely passionate and heartfelt about receive very little. Perspective is king, so I’ve started doing what I want and fulfilling the need for approval by being kind and supportive to myself and the reward for it all lies in the fact that I’m giving that passion an outlet and letting that voice inside me have a chance to speak even if no one seems to listen.

“The key to an authentic emotional life, like the key to an authentic sex life, is to follow your real desires.” – Stop Seeking Approval

 

Self Love Celebration Day 12

Self love is self care. 34 simple ways to begin your self care practice. In our electronic age it can be difficult to remember that we aren’t machines and we’re merely humans. Humans aren’t made to live and work and push the limit every day, all day, week after week. We just aren’t. Self care can feel like a selfish activity but it’s not. If we don’t maintain our cars, wash them, and provide them with fuel they won’t perform as well as if we regularly maintain and care for them. Humans are the same way, we need regular maintenance and self care to really shine and perform regularly.

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Book Review: Amazing Adventures of a Nobody

Photo of Book Cover

amazing adventures of a nobody: a life-changing journey across America relying on the kindness of strangers

by leon logothetis

I discovered that this book existed a month or two ago when I read about it on the author’s twitter profile.  I immediately had to request it from the library and began to read the book in all of my free moments.  My review is going to be a bit of talking about the story and my personal experience in reading the book.  First, I had a few commonalities with the author and I discovered this in the introduction.  We both spent days in childhood on Greek islands (not the same one), we both work (past tense for him, worked)  in our family business, and have both been on personal journeys to find more fulfillment in life and a sense of purpose.  (His a literal journey, mine an internal journey.) These commonalities made me instantly feel a kinship with the author and made the story hit closer to home.   I commend Leon for having the courage to make this journey.

The title is pretty self-explanatory but I’ll expand.  This book is a series of tales and adventures that take us through Leon’s journey from New York City to the Los Angeles sign equipped with nothing but a five dollar a day allowance.  He didn’t have a cellphone, a car, or a credit card.  The journey forced him to connect with people and rely on the kindness and generosity of “strangers.”  This is a book about human connection and how the journey to find oneself  really and ultimately ends in the discovery that who we are is intrinsically connected to everyone else.   This book brings to light some issues that I think are very prominent in American society and tells them in a very organic and unintentional way which is the beauty of this book.  There wasn’t a political agenda or personal agenda to seek out certain people.  He was at the mercy of whoever came his way for help and for conversation.

One of my favorite passages that sets an example of the fast paced disconnection of our society happened in a conversation Logo had with Gene Adams, “And all along the way, we have connected less and less; talked less and less. Now, we don’t talk at all. We don’t see the point. Now, the journeys are just about speed – getting someplace as fast as possible.  Efficiency is the enemy of connection.”  Gene was referring to the evolution of transportation and travel.  In days past, people conversed during travel and they had more time to get to know one another. The majority of people I know nowadays are grateful when they sit next to someone on the bus or plane and their fellow passenger doesn’t talk to him. This conversation was a refreshing reminder that things have not always been this way.

The book is filled with tales of adventures and colorful characters. I’m not going to tell you about those because I want you to read for yourself but there are some very interesting encounters.  There are also plenty of highlights of acts of kindness and complete strangers placing their trust and at times homes in the hands of Leon.  He is helped by all ages and races.  He is helped by humanity as a whole, not fragmented into racial or socioeconomic sectors.  In our society I think things like race and socioeconomic class are major factors into dividing us as a people.  There are perceptions that those who have more are more worthy or better than those who have less.  I loved how his journey helped show a story of a humanity that highlighted the similarities instead of the differences.  I’ve included some of my favorite passages and excerpts from the book to give you an idea of what the story is about in a nutshell.

p. 132  “Finding human connection in small ways is the only way to solve the bigger problems.  I used to feel each man was an island. How wrong I was. We are not.  In fact we are tethered to each oher with invisible bonds that no man or circumstance can break.  Our ability to function successfully in the world depends on our ability to connect with each other.  We are one.”

p. 230 “There was nothing I could not do, nothing we could not do if we learned to trust each other, nothing we could not change if we learned to ask each other for the strength we did not have alone, nothing that we need fear if we have each other.”

It gets better..

p. 231 “We’ve defined greatness as wealth, fame, power, influence.  But true greatness is simply goodness. There is nothing more powerful, nothing more truly great, than helping a human being in a time of need.  In our small acts we become great to one another. Each of us has the intrinsic potential to be immense.

Those excerpts are just a few gems from this book.  There’s a fantastic paragraph at the end of the book that I so desperately want to share with you but I think it best if you all just pick it up and read it for yourselves.   I laughed and I cried and was ever so grateful that Leon made this journey and wrote this book and that it enabled me to vicariously experience the journey.  After reading the book I was reminded that it’s not the literal destination or the road that’s traveled but the steps along the way that are what shape the journey.  I highly encourage you to read this book and if you do I’d love for you to post your thoughts and experiences in doing so in a comment below.

Enjoy!  Let us walk the path that makes us happy where we’re guided by inspiration and see what wonders we may see and the people we may meet along the way.  We must also remember that there are many definitions of ambition as well and that being kind and good is a worthwhile ambition.


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LIFE: Love thyself

I have wanted to write about being yourself and the importance of doing so, but the words just wouldn’t come out.  Then I realized that I had already written about this topic in November of 2009, not that it is not important enough to repeat again, but not now.  If you would like to read that post and more on this topic go to Fly Your Own Course: Having the courage to be yourself.

While my thoughts were musing and circling around about being myself I realized that there is one important element that it would be near impossible to truly be yourself without.  That’s loving yourself.  I’m not talking about arrogance or being cocky or even egotistical.  Think more along the lines of believing in yourself, having self-confidence, and enjoying your own company.  Often we look outside of ourselves for things that we should be looking inside of ourselves for.  We tend to be mirrors for each other reflecting to one another what we project or projecting our own problems onto other people.  Therefore we seek out people, or people come our way to teach us more about who we are and how we are behaving.    Instead of looking for someone else to complete us we need to focus on completing ourselves.   Life really isn’t a fairy tale where Prince Charming will come and rescue us and sweep us out of indentured servitude or awaken us from a deep slumber.  We must do these things for ourselves and be our own best partner.

Give yourself the unconditional and perfect love you seek.  If you can’t accept yourself with all your past mistakes, perceived flaws and imperfections then you’re probably going to look for someone else to validate you.  Recently life has brought a few situations my way to help me heal some of my past scars even though at the time it felt as they were being ripped open and I was being torn to shreds.  Out of necessity I try to look on the bright side of life because I’d be endlessly depressed and quite fatalistic if I didn’t.

“I am a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.” -Antonio Gramsci

I started looking into the situations that I was encountering with people and seeing how my behavior contributed to the end result and what I needed to learn from the experience.  I try to live authentically and be the genuine me, but I realized that without loving and accepting yourself as you are there isn’t any room for the self to explore, try new things, learn, succeed or fail.   I had forgotten to love and nurture myself and was resenting the people that I was giving my time to because they weren’t doing anything to help me nourish and replenish myself.   I was mad at them because I felt like I was the only one doing all the effort and they were getting my time and energy in return.   While this may seem completely obvious, I assure you that even though it seems like common sense I don’t believe it’s that common anymore.

Lesson 1 – You must take care of yourself and give your body, mind, and soul the nourishment and sustenance that it needs to thrive or at minimum survive.

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.”
~ Barbara DeAngelis

So, loves, let us all remember to be our own best lovers and remind each other of the beauty that lies within each other and within ourselves.