Our Obsessions Cause Us More Lonliness

Understanding our personal obsessions is an important aspect of overcoming our personal inability for acceptance. Sometimes, when I am in a dark place, I obsess over things that I can’t control. One second I am pacing around the kitchen looking for the spatula and the next I am overworking my body thinking it is going to make me a better dancer. Today when I was in dance class, I had a real epiphany. I had gotten to dance an hour early and started working on my stretches and crunches. I then did a pro-cheerleader dance class and then stayed for another contemporary class. In the middle of stretching for my contemporary class, something came over me and I felt myself becoming light-headed. “What is going on,” I thought to myself. I calmly and diligently started listening to what my body was telling me.

“I am tired,” I heard my body say. “You’re overworking me and you need to let me cool down,” it repeated back to me.

I typically have a tendency to want to be the best. To want to strive, work and exacerbate myself in order to feel more entitled to my personal ability to showcase my talents. However, I started listening to my body. I stopped doing crunches, and I just laid on the floor to catch my breath. Did I feel shame? Did I feel inadequate? Possibly. However, my body was thankful. I could feel the life-force energy coming back into the tips of my fingers, and I knew that I was doing the right thing.

I feel like there are so many times in our lives when we forget to listen to our bodies and do the right thing. 

Sometimes, my ego disallows me from doing the right thing and I can even be hurtful to others. For a long time, I never quite grasped the concept of hurting others. I think it was because I was living my life from a locus of control that ensured my personal safety and disregarded the personal safety of others. I think that is because, for a long time, I felt that other people were not safe. However, I tend to have an obsessive nature. I tend to obsess about the things that I cannot control a lot and it causes me a great deal of anxiety, worry, and self-destructive behavior. But now I have the ability to stop myself. I have the ability to trust others and see that they might be hurting more. And when I am able to sense their personal pain, hurt and agitation – it allows me to accept them for who they are. Every relationship is essentially a two-way street. No matter what people tell you. If someone is doing something mean to you, then they’re hurting – no, ifs, and’s or buts. It is the truth: hurt people, hurt people. And that is why understanding why hurt people lash out is the first step to staying safe. And what I mean by safe is understanding their words, thoughts and actions do not define who you are. Do not let the pain of another person imprint on you, and do not let the actions of someone who has hurt you allow yourself to feel less about your capability, integrity, and personal resiliency.

We have to accept the choices that people make. We cannot dwell on the past and smoother ourselves with unnecessary pain. Letting go and accepting a person’s choice is the greatest, most noble act of love there is.

Obsessive love is not real love. And your body will tell you. Your body tells you everytime you have anxiety or fear. You can feel it by the rate of your heart, the sweat in your palms or your newly disoriented perception of reality. Every time, we’re obsessing to gain something we have no control over, we’re losing control over ourselves. We’re acting in the opposite of love. We are reacting with fear.



IMG_1194-1.JPGIMG_1195.JPGIMG_1196.JPGpaige swanson


How To Believe In Magic Again

Austin Green Belt

For those of you who forgot what it means to be magical, it would be excellent for  you to listen closely.

Magic isn’t only found in the storybooks and fairy tales you might have read when you were little. Magic can be seen in the ordinary. It is that little fluttering in your heart when you stumble upon your deepest desires. The weird feeling you get when you are thinking about an old friend and then they pop up on your cell-phone two minutes later. Magic can even be seen by the sparkle in the corner of your eye when you think of something completely new and original.

In our everyday lives, it is especially hard to see the magic.

Lately, I’ve forgotten to see the magic in my own life.
Since the winter has come and my search for a job pre-graduation has reached a pinnacle level of frustration. I have forgotten to see the beauty in my own life.

This summer, I was in a state of self-discovery and it was one of the most beautiful, mystical adventures I had ever experienced. I was in a state of perpetual spiritual bliss. Instead of waking up every morning, checking my inbox and sending out resumes. I began each morning with a deep exploration and a run through the Austin Green Belt. I can’t explain the amount of healing I experienced at that magical and beautiful place. I truly felt connected to the earth. Nature is one of the most magical things this world has to offer us. It is a place to be wild, free and completely loved. I would spend my nights under the moonlight topless and dancing as if I was some mysterious nymph no longer bounded by the laws that govern society. During the days, I would take my books of poetry, philosophy and mysticism down to the banks of the water and dip my feet in reflecting on what it truly meant to be universally compassionate to others and myself. When I would feel anxiety and the weight of the world crash down on me; I would walk the Green Belt’s trails. There I would look into the trees and sing with the birds. Little songs. And I felt magic, I felt love and I felt alive.

So, how should we continue to feel more alive everyday in our life? How do continue to see the magic?

1. Spend Time In Nature

We get up everyday and the world beats down a little harder. Our alarm clocks rings and the message from our computer beeps: 14 new e-mails. Quickly, we begin typing away, hoping, Barbara, from accounting on the 4th floor doesn’t send that incorrect excel file to our manager. In a jolt of anxious frustration, our heart just about races and flies through the roof. We develop this practice instead of taking the time to enjoy the fact we’re alive this morning. If I could offer one piece of advice. Begin your mornings with a walk, observation and contemplation of the nature that is all around you- magically. Get out of your own reality and step into the magical, infinite reality of the universe. Find peace, space and reflect. Then when you’re ready. Open your computer and begin your morning completely fresh and rejuvenated.


2. Slow Down

One time, I was running with a couple of great girl friends and we were running through a new part of the city. One of my favorite places to visit that looks like wetlands. I remember thinking in the back of my head, “how I am supposed to sit and enjoy this beautiful view if I am running?” When you’re spending your life always trying to catch up to something. Trying to be something. You miss the beauty that is right in front of you. You miss the birds flying with their wings stretched wide like the beautiful grasp of a mothers embrace. You miss the turtles diving from the lily pads and the sound that is reverberated from the water.

There is nothing more magical than breathing, listening and taking in the enchanting song of the wind. Of sitting with the rain and letting it wash away everything you’ve ever feared.

The only way you can find this peace is by slowing down and listening to the surrounding that encompass you.


3. Stop Taking Nature For Granted

It’s when we stop being thankful for all that nature has given us that we stop seeing the magic in our lives. When we stop recognizing the change in the seasons and the leaves that fall like sand from the branches on the trees. We lose sight. We lose hope. We can only begin to re-connect with the healing and loving properties of nature when we realize it or we won’t always be around. When we need to get outside and breath the salty, sweet air. When we do these things. We begin to realize we aren’t superior. In fact, we’re anything but superior beings. We are conscious and awake but we’re 1/10 of million times smaller than we’d ever imagined we could be. We’re blades of grass, falling snowflakes in the infinite space that is the universe.

and it is those realizations that make you so grateful for being alive every single day.