Its Never to Late To Be Happy

As we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in 2014, I would just like to remind you all that it is never to late to be happy. You can start your life – make changes – whenever you want to. While the “new year” is a great time to start fresh, you needn’t wait an entire year to find happiness. 

Happiness and change can happen whenever you want it to. 

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Its never to late to be happy.

And always remember, if you don’t take risks your glass will always remain half empty.

Wishing you all a happy and blessed New Year!

~Zehara

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2013 Resolution Recap

My 2013 resolution recap:

 

  1. Lose weight-lost 20 pounds this year, partially because of my anti-depressants part it due to stress
  2. Save money-um, I was doing good—then sh*t happens
  3. Travel more-well I went to Florida—does that count?
  4. Meditate more-not as much as I should, but that will change
  5. Get PRIMAL going-started it now to get it going
  6. Dance more-well, that obviously didn’t happen—dance had to take a back seat this year
  7. Get pregnant-yep, that was on there and I am SO grateful it did NOT happen
  8. Eat healthier-better than I was, but always room for improvement-finally switched to organic

 

Sum up 2013: CHANGE. I got my anxiety/depression under control, filed for divorce, realized what I needed to do and for once—started focusing on me. I started doing more Shamanic work and opened my heart and self to whatever the Universe was going to deliver—because after all—you can’t control things. If I learned anything-change happens and you have no control. 2013 was a roller coaster of emotional, mental and spiritual changes for me. Sometimes I felt cursed, other times blessed. In time, 2013 will be a reflection of the person I was once and the person I am becoming.

The Importance of Being Important

I am by no means a relationship expert. The past year has been a roller coaster for me-ending with a divorce and then *finally* finding my perfect partner. While I am not a relationship expert, I have learned three important lessons over the course of my “relationships.”

  1. Be important-I know that sounds impractical, especially in the beginning of a relationship, when you are both devoted to one another. However as time goes by-and the honey moon phase diminishes-always make sure that you are important to your partner. By this, I don’t mean by putting yourself up on a pedestal and demand attention. I just mean, don’t be someone’s second. If you are in a serious long term relationship, you have to make sure that your partner respects you enough to make you his/her number one. Especially if you are married. You should never have to play second fiddle to anyone or anything. And being important/wanted and number one means that your partner is open emotionally to you, respects you enough to tell you when things are changing, and  be open to evolving with you-rather than against you.
  2. Don’t look for your “type” – We spend most of our dating lives looking for someone who is our physical type-limiting our view of who is out there for us. I would only date guys with dark hair and eyes. Low and behold, my perfect partner ended up being the complete opposite. If you limit the distance of your net-you will never find the right catch.
  3. Loneliness is an illusion-So many of us feel we need to be in a relationship to fill a void -so we won’t be lonely.  Hand holding is nice-but shouldn’t be an excuse for putting your heart out there. If you are in relationship just because you are feeling a lone, you will find eventually that you are slowly losing yourself and your own independence. We all have stuff to work out-but you have to love yourself, honor yourself and respect yourself before you dive into a relationship. You can be in a relationship and still be alone-and that is a terrible feeling. So make sure that you are the best *you* even if you still have some things to work on. A good partner will help you work on you by being supportive and progressing with you.

 

Keep your heart open, your soul free and that perfect mate will appear. Mine did.

Grateful for Thin Wine Glasses

I have a set of wine glasses I have kept in my cabinets for over two years. They are super thin and fragile. I have always been afraid to use them as I feared they would break. My partner suggested I finally take them out of the cabinet, as he said, “they are yours to use.” Which got me thinking of the wine glasses in a metaphorical sense. 

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Like the wine glasses, life is fragile. We can chose to stay in the cabinets, or we can experience having our glasses filled. And of course, like the glasses, things may break in life. Hearts, spirits-life is always filled with things that can shatter us. Its about taking risks and chances, and letting go of fear. Fear is what keeps us locked away in the cabinets – afraid if we enter something new, we could break. Our spirits could shatter into a million pieces and never be made whole again. Its about not being afraid to let go.

Sometimes our glasses seem half empty. We are missing essential parts of our selves. We sometimes seek solace in filling up our glasses in things that really don’t matter–materialistic items, alcohol, drugs– self medication. Or we seek to fill our glasses by making choices that we think will make us full. Sometimes we never fill up our glasses with what we really need–and that’s connection to ourselves, love for ourselves and others, and the understanding that we are connected by the Universe. Our glasses will either stay locked up in the cabinet or always be half full.

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We always have to remember that life is a journey-even when its hard. That every decision we make, even when it seems difficult at the time, is one that will shape our futures. Every time we speak, think or feel–we are sending out a ripple into the Universe that ultimately is not only affecting ourselves, but those around us-and even the world. If we don’t take risks..we wont learn. If we don’t take chances..we will never evolve.

If we don’t pull ourselves out of the cabinet–our lives will always remain empty.

 

 

*Wanted* Love

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person being loved.”

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I have been thinking a lot about love lately, seeing as the end and beginning of love has been a theme for me over the past 6 months. As an adult, a loving relationship means more than it did when I was younger. Before it was the swooning and the lovely bits. Now its about the bigger picture. It’s about cherishing the moments of love. Honoring and appreciating the moments of love. As an adult, love needs to mean more than just a word. Love is more than kisses and hugs and “I love you’s” ,,,,,,,

I heard a great quote on a TV show I was watching recently, “Men need to be loved. Women need to feel wanted.” It made me think about the word love. We are raised as children to say the word love and not understand the real meaning of it. We are told to say it. “Tell daddy you love him,” “Say I love you.” As children we understand that it means something “good” because we get a positive reaction whenever we are told to say it.

As we get older, we use the word all the time, “I love this color,” “I love this couch.” We throw around the word love in the most meaningless way. We say “I love you” all the time, because its such a major part of our vocabulary. But we lose the sense of connection to the word.

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I believe if you are truly in love with someone, you know that no matter what happens, that other person is always there for you, even if you feel that they are not. There are no unrealistic  ideas about your future or your relationship. That when the going gets tough-when things seem messy and endless-when things reach the ultimate low–they wont abandon you. They wont leave you because they want you and need you. When they want you, they will be by your side in the good times, and by your side when you feel like you are both at the brink of losing each other. The very idea that you may lose each other brings you closer together.

Anyone can say I love you. But only few can make you feel wanted.

Fixing Your Oxygen Mask

“Fix your own oxygen mask first so you are able to help someone else” ~ thelittlesage.com

I had to write this blog post at the bequest of several of my friends who have asked me how I have become so happy over the past few months. Aside from the fact that I have been able to deal with my depression and anxiety issues, I have also decided to be selfish. Yep. Sometimes it is all about me. And its completely OK. 

When I say “selfish,” I don’t mean the egotistical “screw everyone else because its all about me” selfish. There is a difference between being self-centered and selfish. Self centered means you only care about yourself. Selfish means you care about yourself so you can care about others.  I have worked in healthcare for nearly 15 years. I worked in Radiation Oncology, did a spin in Hematology Oncology, shifted to Hospice and now work full time in primary care. Needless to say, I have been around a lot of sick and dying people. The one thing you will hear EVERY healthcare professional say to the partners and families of those suffering an illness–“you need to take care of you,” or “you come first.”

Admittedly it sounds harsh. But coming from a person who always lived my life second to everyone an everything else, I can tell you, they are the sweetest words you will ever hear. We live in a world where we are expected to be well bred race horses. We need to live up to other peoples expectations, personally and professionally. Whether its our family, friends, employers-or even ourselves, we all feel a need to live up to what we think other people want us to be. We tend to put work and family first, which of course, are very important. Its just that we never take time to be a little spoiled. Actually make your life centered around you. Only you know what can make you happy. So indulge that (and not in a way that is harmful to you or someone else!).

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I don’t mean forget about responsibility. Working and spending time with family should be priority, but you should never play second fiddle to anyone or any thing. How can you take care of others around you when you are not even focusing on yourself? Take a little time out to be selfish. Get a massage. Buy something nice for yourself. Take a day off from your schedule to lounge around in your pj’s, watch TV and eat chocolate! Read a book. Meditate–but focus on YOU. 

DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES. For years I had an excuse for not focusing on myself. No money. No time. When you look back on your life-do you only want to see all the TIME you wasted not enjoying YOU? Not enjoying YOUR life? DO NOT MAKE CHOICES FOR THE WRONG REASONS even if you think they are the RIGHT reasons. Absolutely do not do things because you feel you have to or need to based on what you perceive you think everyone else wants from you. Don’t worry about judgmental people. Don’t worry about expectations from others and definitely DO NOT WORRY about your own expectations of yourself. Be you. Enjoy you. Why be hard on yourself? The Universe blessed you with the gift of breath, so take care of you and then you can light the way for others. 

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I honestly believe that if people were just a little more selfish–loved themselves–spoiled themselves–indulged occasionally on themselves to make them feel better–the world would be a much brighter place. When you take care of you and find your own happiness–you can spread that love and joy to others. In turn, you feel pretty darn awesome that you are a bit selfish. You followed your bliss and can be focused on those around you even more than you could ever have imagined.

So….go out and be selfish!  Go spoil yourself rotten–and do not feel guilty about it!

Then spread your love and light to the world around you!

Convergence

2013 was a big year for me. Personally and professionally. It’s funny how when a year starts, you have no idea how it will end. We all make resolutions-what we wish to accomplish in the year ahead. We have dreams and goals. Perceptions of what to expect. But it almost never turns out in the end the way we expected. For better or worse, the New Year always brings about changes in our continuous evolution. We shed our skins. We learn, we grow, we change.

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If I had to sum up 2013 in one word it would be ENDINGS. I don’t want to say “losses”–I don’t believe things are ever lost for us. Things end. Some things that end we never expected. Something that begin we never expected. But everything ends and begins somewhere in time. 2013 started off with the hopes of new things to come. My year has been such an emotional roller coaster. 2013 marked a major shift in my perspective on life, love and the world around me.

I have battled with anxiety and depression most of my life. It all came to ahead eight years ago, when I found myself ending up repeatedly in the emergency room from panic attacks. I lived as if I was sleep walking. Needing to hold hands. Afraid of doing things I used to find so simple. My life became a focus of dependence on others. After years of therapy and finally taking the step to go on medication, I have been able to get a handle on both. My anxiety, which used to be so debilitating that I lost my independence, only creeps up occasionally. And its been months since my depression consumed me that I could  not even get out of bed. With my regained sense of self and control, I began to explore outside myself once more. My spirituality began to become a major part of my life and I was blessed to begin meeting other people who had the same sense of the Universe as I did. I started attending drum circles, started my own spiritual group, and focused more on the needs I was feeling. I began turning inward.

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With the new awareness I had, of which I was no longer bound to the darkness I had experienced with anxiety/depression, came changes within myself. With change comes beginnings and ends. I changed. I changed a lot. What I thought I knew, what I thought I wanted, began to shift. I decided, wholeheartedly, to take a rest from my dancing. I loved performing and teaching, but my passion was gone. Dancing was not what it used to be for me. So I decided that I needed to step away. That life was no longer what I needed. My “retirement” came after my show “ANIMUS,” which for the third year in a row, became a spiritual masterpiece for me. Conceived of a dream where my dance and spirit could merge.

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My perception on life, once bound by chains of a loss of self due to the darkness of anxiety and depression, shifted. My dreams, desires and needs changed. With that, came the end of my marriage. The Universe was pulling me in a different direction, and my desires for my future deviated.  Our goals differed from what they started off as. I shed a new skin and needed to grow.  I continued on my spiritual journey, walking away from the life I had started. I had to reevaluate myself once more. I was now treading in a new tumultuous ocean. But life is like that—waves. Big or small, we have to ride them out.

And then, like a flash of light in a thunderous sky, The Universe decided to flip my world upside down again. If I have learned anything this year, it’s that The Universe will do exactly what it is meant to do when the time is right.  I met a partner who was my spiritual and creative equal. Who I have loved for lifetimes. When you least expect it, when you think your world is drowning in darkness, The Universe decides to pull you out. What I have now is a gift I treasure beyond all others. What I have now, only few will experience in their lifetime. From an end, came a beginning. And with the meeting my twin soul-came the rebirth of my creative spark.

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An idea that had once lived only on the stage of “ANIMUS”, now became a new reality. I founded PRIMAL FUSION WORLD DANCE. Walking away from belly dance, I was able to open a door to a new world that I could share, finally. Creating a dance style specifically for the use of cathartic purposes, I began to reestablish my love of dance and movement. From and end came a beginning.

Lastly, the hardest aspect of my life was the passing of my sweet best friend and dance partner for nearly 10 years, Kaala. A spiritual guide for me now, even in death, my serpentine friend is always a part of my heart and soul.

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The great convergence of 2013.

I thinking of 2013 much life the myth of Persephone. Spending 6 months in the dark and 6 months in the sun. It’s not that my life was lived in shadows. It was that I needed to see the shadows as a gift. You can’t walk in the light–appreciate its warmth–until you walked in the shadows. I changed and evolved.  Like a snake, I embraced the cyclical nature of my evolution and shed my skin. I started to become who I was meant to be. From the endings, came beginnings.

I have learned a lot this year:

1. Always trust The Universe-even when you think your world is ending–The Universe is doing EXACTLY what needs to be done for you.

2. Expect the unexpected.

3. Embrace your change. Even when things may not turn out the way you wanted, that change is part of your evolution.

4. Don’t worry about what others think. People who judge you are people you don’t need in your life.

5. Be happy and let go. You can’t move forward if you are living in the past and you can’t live life to the fullest if you hold on to regrets and what-if’s.

6. Take one day at a time. What was yesterday was yesterday. What is today is today. What is tomorrow is tomorrow. You can only live in the moments. Life is made up of all those little moments.

So 2013 was an a year of endings for me. I cant wait to see what 2014 has in store!