Young vs Old

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(Post taken from my Instagram account @taishka_lefler)

Our society glorifies youth & the young. Firm bodies, supple skin. Worship bodies, not minds. Fawn over skin, not knowledge, wisdom & highly tuned skills.
We’re supposed to believe that youth is the end all & be all.
Youth isn’t the end of the story, youth is the beginning of the story.

As I get older I enjoy the perks that come with age – even though it’s age unseen (I look young for 43). Without living this long I couldn’t have the life experiences that I’ve had.
I couldn’t grow the way I have.
I couldn’t learn the knowledge & acquire the wisdom that I have.
I couldn’t have the people skills, the diplomacy, the life & job skills that I have.
It took 43 years for me to develop into who I currently am. I’m so much more than I was in my 20’s & 30’s. And I’ll be so much more in my 50’s & 60’s.
I have stretch marks from carrying a child & there are businesses that will help me fix that.
I CREATED & GREW A LIFE and I’m supposed to feel bad that I don’t have my pre-life-creating body? To be self-conscious of the evidence?
Our best & brightest scientists can’t even do that!
Without women having babies humanity will die off. Yet THE VERY THING KEEPING OUR SPECIES ALIVE is supposed to be something to be ashamed of, to be fixed, to be corrected.
That, ladies & gentlemen, is the irrational thinking that I’m writing this post about. What we idolize & what we scorn is out of whack.

 

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Comparing apples to oranges

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(This post is from my Instagram account @taishka_lefler)

We seem to always be comparing ourselves to someone. We women compare ourselves to other women. Men compare themselves to other men.

But it’s truly comparing apples to oranges. These comparisons are shallow. Purely on the surface. We can never truly compare one person against another.
There’s a Carl Sagan joke: if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, first you have to create the universe.
Someone can only be compared to me if they have lived my life. Every second of it. But no one has. Not one out of 7.5 billion people has lived a life exactly like mine.

Looks are a culmination of DNA from 2 sources. But those 2 sources are a culmination of DNA from thousands of ancestors. What is the point in comparing looks unless we’re willing to compare ancestors? Just as skin colour is a direct correlation to sun exposure our ancestors experienced, features are a direct correlation to the elements.

We compare strength knowing nothing of the tools provided, or lacking, in that person’s upbringing or in their life.
We judge financial wealth, assuming others care about money the same way that we do.
We judge the looks of someone’s partner, assuming that person looks for the same things we do, knowing nothing of the character, sense of humour or compassion of that partner that drew the person in in the first place.
We compare clothes, accessories, cars…
Brand name clothes are still just clothes. A Gucci handbag is still just a handbag. A Lamborghini is still just a car. And money is merely a tool, only one of many that can usually get the job done.

You are not your things & neither am I. We are all so much more.
We bring so much to the table. We shouldn’t short change ourselves. We shouldn’t make baseless comparisons.
We can really only compare ourselves to… ourselves.

 

How to Smile No Matter WHAT Life Throws at You! 😃

Update: I wrote this over a year ago. I’ve been out of the shelter system since March 2015. The 3 places I’ve lived since have actually been worse than living in the shelter. I was more upbeat, productive and treated better while living in the shelter. I never had to deal with being ignored (like I’d become Casper type of ignored), flooding, mold, my room smelling of drugs 24/7, blasting music, screaming matches….. We tend to see things from only one perspective, such as nothing could be as bad as living in a shelter, until we’ve arrived at that point. I honestly fear very little now. I’m actually living in a pretty negative environment right now (since July actually). It’s my fault I’m here and it’s my responsibility to get myself out. Freedom….. is within sight 😄

If you read my post https://taishka.com/2014/12/01/jesus-take-the-wheel/ you know that I’m currently living in a shelter and have been for almost a year. This is about to come to an end but in that year no one has had a clue that I live in a shelter. I don’t dress like it, I don’t act like it and I’m a pretty happy, grateful person despite my circumstances.

I have learned a LOT during this past year and I’m going to share it with you. Some good advice is courtesy of Sonia Ricotti http://www.leadoutloud.ca/index-1.html. In the shelter system I have learned, unequivocally, that we are responsible for MOST of our problems. No one is immune from this responsibility. I’ve been watching, listening and learning from the people around me, and in the past year my learning and self-growth has been speed up exponentially. I couldn’t put a price tag on the benefits of this experience. I also plan on never repeating it again 😉

We are indeed responsible for most of what happens to us. Not all, but most. In how we react, how we make decisions and live based on fear, how we communicate, how we don’t listen, how we assume, how we just don’t try hard enough or give up too quickly, etc. Almost everyone does these things to some degree. Feel bad? Don’t. Welcome to the human race.

I wake up every day in a shelter bed. How would you feel? What would you think if this were you? My days have many pros and very few cons.

Pros

  • I woke up
  • I was warm
  • Someone in another room was noisy and woke me up early. Was I angry? No, it was almost time to wake up anyway so I had a head start on my morning.
  • I was able to have breakfast and catch the morning news playing on the TV, even if it’s donuts. I have not gone hungry while living in the shelter. I’ve put on weight but have not gone hungry.
  • I had access to a shower. I’m able to bathe every day.
  • Meals can come with entertainment; the other residents usually do or say something that makes me LOL.

Cons

Cons are really just of my making. Things are only hard to deal with if I decide so. I don’t have to interact with my environment if I don’t like that environment, including people. As long as it’s not after curfew I can leave the shelter at any time for a break, go for a walk or hop on the subway. I also have library books I can escape into. I can listen to music. I can do things on my laptop. As Sonia says we have no worries “in this moment”. Right now, right this exact moment, we have Nothing to worry about. Getting myself out of the shelter is not a worry, it is just something to do, like a goal. Being in a shelter is not a problem, it’s merely my current situation. We live where we live. If we don’t like it we should work on finding better housing, but in the meantime we live where we live.

A place is only as good or as bad as we make it out to be. It’s all about perception.

I am currently housed, fed, and kept warm. I have access to donated clothing and government services. I live with some kooky characters who both frustrate me and make me laugh (that sounds a bit like family, doesn’t it?). I felt the need to give up almost everything I owned last March yet in the meantime I have been given…enough. When we have absolutely no money new money will come our way. When we have no possessions new possessions will come our way. Maybe not a lot but enough.

When I walk out of the shelter every day I hear beautiful birdsong, I appreciate the tea in my travel mug, and I’m happy for being able to afford a bus pass so that I can get to where I need to for the day. My mindset is of gratitude and it truly colours how I see the world and my situation at any given time. I have what I need, I have enough.

Our situation is just our situation.

Laugh 8-D

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An actual ad o.O

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Cat’s just Love going for a walk! As much as bathing :)

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Period panties…

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I’ll put the warning here: Don’t take offense! If you do then take a chill pill, come back, and I assure you they’ll be funny :)

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“Let Go and Let God”

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We’re very much a controlling society. We want to make or force things to happen. We decide certain things should happen and we map out our entire lives accordingly: go to X school, start X career, buy a house, get a dog, get married and have 2.5 children, have 2 vacations a year, then retire and move to X city. Well…

“Life is what happens when you’re making plans.” Life gets treated like a To-Do list and it’s not.

Trying to force things to happen is Exactly what keeps them from happening. How many couples, after years of trying to have a child, give up and start the adoption process. Then BAM, they get pregnant.

We can put work into finding out ‘If I want X career this is what I need to do to get there’ but we don’t necessarily put work into finding out Who We Are. For most of us the life we strive for, the life we planned, Isn’t the life we were meant to live. We don’t realize that because we’re too busy forcing our square-peg life into a round hole. ‘It doesn’t fit now but if I Just Keep Pushing….’.

Stop pushing. Temporarily put aside your plans and aspirations and take stock. Do you actually Enjoy that career or is it all about money? Does your life have balance or is your life all about work or living for other people? Were those aspirations even yours to begin with?

Life is not do-or-die. You CAN make adjustments. And make them often. A dress may look nice until you put it on. You don’t buy it just because it’s a nice dress; if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t fit. If something in your life doesn’t fit get rid of it or change it. Who cares what other’s say? This is your life, not theirs. You have to live it 24/7. Why wouldn’t you want your life to be as enjoyable as possible?

We need to have goals and plans so that we have a direction but we shouldn’t be uncompromising in those goals and plans. If life shows us that something even better or different is in store than what we’d envisioned then who are we to argue? Life knows better.

Regret

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Have you ever had regret about something? Wished you could do something over? Wished you’d made a different choice? We all have. Well, I’m going to tell you something about that.

Don’t.

We’re all here to learn lessons and to experience things. To grow.

When we make a mistake we’re supposed to learn from it. And then not repeat it. If you’re not learning from your mistakes then, oh boy, do they keep coming! And they get bigger! Like when you don’t pay attention to a child they’ll pull harder on your pant leg, or slap harder on your arm. Life does the Exact Same Thing.
If you feel bad about any mistakes you make, if you’re striving for perfection… well, that just isn’t going to happen. Sorry. No one on this pale blue dot is perfect and never will be. That defeats the purpose of Being here!

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Life is just a bitch on a broom sometimes and we ask “Why?!”.
If we never experience need then we can never feel gratitude. If we never experience sorrow then we can never feel happy. If we never sacrifice than we can never appreciate. Life, as painful as it may be, needs to have contrast for us to notice, to feel, to experience.

An interesting result of hardship is that people learn to care, they learn empathy. Some of the kindest people have endured the cruelest pasts.

Every single decision we’ve ever made has made us who we are today. If you’re even remotely a decent person then don’t regret a minute of your past! It made you the hunk of awesomeness that you are :-D

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Here and Now

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I found this picture while looking for something to give you, my readers, clarity in life. This picture is supposed to show the milky way, well it definitely shows a lot of stars.
When life is too hectic, or when you’ve been hurt, or when you feel like screaming “Screw it, I’m done!” take a minute, look around you and just breathe.
Personally I need a certain amount of ‘me’ time or else my life feels off kilter. I’m actually going through that right now. My me time includes walks in the wee, quiet hours and having the city all to myself. I look up at the sky and just bask in how insignificant my petty problems are. I remove myself from all my worries and just enjoy how beautiful things are ‘right now’. It’s quite refreshing.

We all have this ability, just wear blinders for at least 1 hour a day and completely enjoy the here and now of whatever you choose to do for that hour. The ‘here and now’ philosophy is invigorating. We’re so used to holding on to our worry, as if worry will change anything, and think of ‘relaxing’ as something that only happens on holidays or on getaways. We all have this ability every hour of every single day. We can be as relaxed and carefree as we want/need to be whenever we want/need to be. It does not mean not being responsible, it means taking our mental and physical health into consideration. Worry causes very real health problems.
When you do this and mentally regroup it can help put you back on track, help you see your path forward more clearly. Meditation is all about this.

If you try this and find it really works for you (if it doesn’t then you’re doing something wrong) then you should look into Yoga. It has amazing results as an exercise and also has a meditative component to it; it’s very good at centering people. I can’t seem to link a video here so it’s listed at the end of the links. It’s about how Yoga had miraculous results on a disabled US paratrooper. It rendered me absolutely speechless. If you haven’t seen it it’s definitely worth a look.

Living in the here and now helps you let go of the past and not worry about the future and just enjoy the NOW. We don’t live in the past (it no longer exists) and we don’t live in the future (it never actually arrives) so why not actually live in the only option left?  Notice how many people don’t really live, they’re just gradually preparing for their death. Do you want to LIVE while you have the chance or do you want to exist with one foot in the grave? A stark visual, I know. Keep that in mind when someone comes up with a lame excuse for not enjoying some activity or event.

Life is made up of little moments; if you can’t enjoy the simplicity and joy at any given moment then life is truly passing you by. And that is just sad :( Just think of ‘the good old days’ – whenever that was for you. Now truly remember what it was like to live back then. It wasn’t actually as great as we remember, was it? It’s just that we’re looking back on those memories with rose-coloured glasses; only seeing the positive. Learn the art of seeing Life, at any given moment, with rose-coloured glasses. Once you develop that ability happiness will truly be at your finger tips!

When you stop worrying you actually start to notice everything around you. You will become happier and more appreciative. And guess what? Your life will get better! There is always Something to be thankful for. Want proof? Think of the ‘lucky’ people you know. Notice how happy they are? It’s not random luck, their happiness is Attracting ‘luck’ to them.

Letting go of worry will make you happier, healthier and keep you more centered. Your life will improve overall. And your goals will get bigger and bolder.

The secret to goals is to make them with only the end in mind. Don’t worry about how you’ll fulfill those goals, your mind will figure that out. Remember we only use about 10% of our brain. We underestimate it. Give your mind a problem and it will work on it in the background (the subconscious mind). This now ventures into the realm of Law of Attraction. More to come soon.

“Use your smile to change the world. Don’t let the world change your smile.”

I’m closing with this Spectacular photo taken of the night sky over Flagstaff, Arizona. Every Single One of those lights is a star. We have an entire solar system orbiting our star. Think about just how VAST the universe it. Take wonder in that. Look up at the night sky and bask in the awe of it. We’re part of something very wonderful and amazing. There is always Something to be grateful for :) Beauty abounds!

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