One of the constants in my life has been a dear friend of mine by the name of Rod Black. Actually, I’ve written about his significance in my life before. I call him a soul mate and quite often I think he is an angel in human form, as he always appears in my life at the precise moment that I feel even remotely troubled. There are a number of people I have very deep and meaningful connections to (they know who they are)… but in this case, it was Rod that inspired this piece of writing.
The past few months have been some of my most personally rewarding, eye opening and challenging. I’ve been discovering a lot about my spiritual side as well getting to know myself on a deeper level. With that, comes a lot of questions. I mean A LOT. There are days where I often question my place in life and what I’m supposed to do to reach my highest potential. And there are plenty of times I feel overcome with fear to do so.
There are times when I feel like I don’t really belong anywhere, and days when I feel completely unmotivated and detached from life. Some days, I feel like I’d like to float away.
It’s those exact days, when my phone rings and it is Rod, as if he is telepathically hearing my own fears and self doubts. I almost think he is. Whether I am in need of a gentle reminder or a swift kick in the ass, he is there.
I’m sure everyone can relate to those days where you feel incredibly stuck. You feel like any goal you have set for yourself is millions of miles away and completely out of reach. Those are also the days where every single roadblock imaginable seems to appear, and those are the days you really want to give up and float away. Those are the days your ego pays you a nice visit and makes you question everything you’ve ever done and makes you feel like it’s not worth trying anymore. Fear, personal loathing and self doubt cloud any kind of positivity or self worth.
I’ve had a number of these days in the past while. Thankfully, I’ve been able to recognize them, understand them, and accept them… or at least I try. It’s part of being human and the only way to get through those times is to allow them. I’ve recognized that these days are not the essence of me, but my own ego.
Though it is easier said than done, the days I feel stuck and like none of my dreams are manifesting I try to picture my ideas much like a garden. You plant the seed, and though you can not see the activity taking place beneath the soil – with enough care and attention, you see that seed grow and take form.
It was during one of my recent moments of doubt and disparity that Rod called me.
He told me to make a list of some of the things I am proud of, thankful for, that make me happy, and that I admire in my own self. He told me I should always have this ‘list’ close by so that when I feel like I am in a funk I can refer to it.
“It works, Tanis”, he said.
I chuckled and said, “Hmmm yeah…sure…okay”, and shrugged it off. I was in such a foul mood that day that I didn’t think I had anything to be thankful for, which is pretty ridiculous. Either way, I didn’t really think about it. I would have rather had a glass of wine and sat in a dark room sulking to myself rather than think about anything ‘positive’.
Then he asked me again. And again. And yet again.
“Did you do what I asked you Tanis?”
“You didn’t, did you. TAAANIS!!!”
“Okay, fine. I will. Like, what… do you want me to send you the list or something!?” I joked.
“Yes, as a matter of fact I do. I’ll fill in the things that you are missing.”
So here goes…
11 Simple things that things I am proud of, thankful for, that make me happy and that I admire in my own self.
(Note: I decided to start with 10 things… but at the end I had to add one more. There are many more than 10 which I will add in my own journal, but these ones came to me first in no particular order… and really, I’m cramming way more than 10 in here)
1. Let’s start with the glaringly obvious. I am thankful for my family, perfect or not. Blood is blood, and I would not be here if not for my family.
2. Also on the obvious side – roof over my head, food to eat, water to drink. Air to breathe. Sunsets, stars, and simple things.
3. I am happy that my Mom taught me to read and write before the age of 5. I remember reading Nancy Drew novels in Kindergarten and writing and reading my own short stories to the kids as they were still learning the alphabet. I also got to skip spelling class from Grade 3 onward. During that time, I got to hang out in the teachers’ lounge and learn the fine art of washing dishes. I’m not sure if that is something I am happy about – but surely it will make my future partner pretty happy and I’m certain my parents thoroughly enjoyed it as well. Regardless, reading and writing is something I’ve taken for granted, because it has always been a part of my life and I often forget there are some that never do get to learn. I’m sure my spelling and grammar skills were better back then than they are now, but either way – I was privileged to learn early on.
4. I am thankful for my ability to manifest things. This is one some of my friends have often told me I can do. Many times I’ve heard, “If you say it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen”. For whatever reason, this has not worked with manifesting a lottery win just yet – but other than that, I have come up with some crazy ideas that most would say “that’s not possible”… and I have sat back, followed signs from the universe, and literally watched my intentions manifest into form. What are they exactly? I’m saving them for my book (one day).
5. I’m thankful for my interest in music. I started with playing the organ (my parents’ choice) and played the flute in my school band. I played the drums in my teens and got booted out of the first band I was in – which prompted me to buy a guitar. Scratch that – my Dad bought me my first one. When I got good enough, I bought my second guitar which was a HUGE deal to me, because it was the very first big purchase that I ever did myself. I also remember the man at the music store that told me I couldn’t touch one of the expensive guitars basically because I was a girl… So I pulled out a wad of cash, said “Okay… no problem, see ya later!” and went to the competitors and bought and even nicer one.
6. I’ve been wanting to start my own business for a while and I’ve been working diligently on writing a business plan for more than a year as well as working full time, dabbling in some writing, taking evening classes and also trying to maintain some kind of social life. I’ve learned that I’m great at writing business plans and I’m pretty happy about that. On that note, earlier today I had an extensive Q&A session at a local firm and got questioned on nearly every aspect of my business. It was pretty intense, and at this very moment I am happy that I held my composure with confidence, even though there were some questions that totally stumped me.
7. I’m pretty happy that after three days of having no luggage in New York City, it was returned and I was able to wear clean clothes to Central Park. I’m also happy that I was *only* stranded in the Washington airport for 14 hours and not 24. Furthermore, I was even happier to leave New York because it was cold and hang out in balmy Texas for a few days where I got to take in the SXSW festival (another thing that was ‘impossible’, yet I intended it to happen and it did). Among other random things, I’m happy that I can fit through the ‘Leprechaun door’ at O’sheas and also, I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty thrilled I got to wear ‘Keith’s glasses’ a week ago. –>
8. I’m quite happy with my intuitive abilities. These are some skills that I’ve been developing over the past while but have improved greatly in the last few years. Everyone has them, not everyone knows it or knows how to awaken them. Often, I am able to read and feel other’s energy and sometimes I have the ability to see one’s aura/energy field. It’s a GREAT bull shit detector. There are times though, it’s more of a curse than a blessing as sometimes I am filled with information on others that I would rather not know or feel.
9. I am proud of my ability to network. I have actually never really thought about it because it’s one of those things that just seems to ‘happen’. Now that I actually think about it, it’s likely one of the things I do best and I’m pretty stoked on it. It doesn’t matter what industry I am in, I have an innate ability to attract precisely the people that I need or want to know. Because of it, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of my ‘idols’. Some of them, ten years ago I would have said “as if I would ever meet that person.” And because of both my networking and ‘intending’ skills, it’s afforded me some really cool experiences. I also know that people don’t come into your life for no reason. Everything is connected. Whether it’s an acquaintance or someone I now call a friend, I’m pretty happy about each and everyone of them. I wouldn’t be where I am otherwise.
10.My yoga studio makes me pretty happy. It’s one of those things I never thought I would do, or could do. In fact, if you read this post – I was petrified of it. I also just signed up for a Qi Gong class – a form of Tai Chi/Kung Fu. I had my first class today and I’m already starting to learn even more about myself. I’m fairly stoked on this class and to try something new.
11. Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my friend Rod. It was my interest in music that allowed me to meet him. I am proud to know him and proud of him. Rod had an experience years ago and was declared dead at the age of 19. Shortly after, he had a near death experience… much of which he writes about in his music. I’m pretty darn happy that he is here today. When I think of his challenges and watching him keep going, it challenges me to do the same with myself. He is the pure embodiment of passion and perseverance. I encourage you to check out some of his music here or on youtube.
So now I am sitting here reflecting on a lot of these experiences and memories and realizing more and more how much I have to be proud of.
The next time your having a bad day and your ego is kicking your ass… maybe it’s today… maybe it will be tomorrow… I encourage you to do the same.
We spend so much time focusing on and gravitating towards the negatives. Society is geared towards the negatives whether it’s via social media, TV, or our daily conversations. So much in fact, that we often forget to really truly focus on the positives.
What are some of the things about yourself that you are thankful for? What aspects of yourself are you proud of?