Inspirational Quote of the Day

Surviving in an overachieving world

Modern day society is obsessed with success, ambition, and overachievement. We admire people who work over 60 hours a week and are constantly reminded of their glorious success through their colorful display of physical possessions.

We tirelessly compare our achievements to those around us and so often find ourselves falling short. So we fret. We push ourselves harder or blame people or circumstances around us. We drown ourselves in work we don’t love and even after completely exhausting ourselves we are still nowhere near the Joneses but are now more tired, stressed and run down than ever before.

These shortfalls make us believe we are not good enough. We can’t do what they do therefore we must be failures, slackers, bums. We accept this new reality and carefully watch their successes bloom from the sidelines while we secretly envy them and wish them to fail.

What a sad story and a waste of a beautiful life. All this anxiety is based on a false premise that the purpose of our life is to be regarded as a go-getter. Yet life is so much more than that. True fulfillment comes in the form of kindness, love, and acceptance. Every day we wake up is a beautiful opportunity to love life. This may sound cliche but ask anyone laying on a deathbed if it isn’t so. Ask a parent with a dying child to confirm just how true this premise is.

You see we’ve become so obsessed with overachieving that a person in a relaxed and calm state of mind can be taken for granted or regarded as a slacker. This is unfortunate because what the world really needs is not more successful people but kind, patient and loving individuals instead. To me, a person with a beautiful heart and an open mind is so much more impressive than a successful CEO.

With so much societal pressure no wonder most people’s stress levels are through the roof while prescription drugs are handed out in desperate attempts to numb the overwhelming anxiety and pain from the never-ending rat race. We are attempting to treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause.

Life is a beautiful journey, be sure to carve out moments to stop and smell the roses. Make time to reconnect with your inner self. Get to know what matters to you. What do you love? What makes your heart smile? What excites and motivates you? If you’re unsure, you have some soul-searching to do. Take time to get to know the real you. Sit in a quiet space, perhaps by a fire, or by a mountainside. Listen to a running brook or feel the breeze of the morning calm. These moments help clear our overworked minds and create space for creativity and love. Listen to your intuition and work on creating a path that is unique and tailored to you, not based on the pressures and norm of society.

I hope this message sparks a curiosity in you and fosters some passionate discussions with your loved ones.

Sending you so much love, peace, and good vibrations,
with love Alyana

For relaxing and rejuvenating practices visit these helpful articles Meditation Podcast: Live Awake and The Power of the Mantra

Is jealousy helping or hurting you?

What is jealousy? provides the following definition: 1) jealousy is a feeling of resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself. 2) mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims. 3) vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.

Based on above definitions, do you think jealousy is hurting or helping you?

Here is my raw and unfiltered truth: I used to be a jealous person. I didn’t understand where it was coming from and if ever confronted I would wholeheartedly deny it. I didn’t see just how much pain my jealousy was causing not only me but my relationships as well. Too often I jumped into conclusions, made up false narratives in my mind and accused my boyfriends of ridiculous wrongdoings. This went on for years.

My true liberation began after I set out on a soul-searching journey. This entailed taking a close and honest look at my upbringing while facing some painful and uncomfortable insecurities that lived deep within. Over time I discovered that my jealousy didn’t just appear out of thin air. My jealousy had two thick and deeply rooted causes. The first was the lack of my father’s involvement in my life and the second was a possessive and overbearing first romantic relationship. I won’t bore you with the dark and complicated corners of my psyche but I do want you to know that once I realized and accepted what was driving my jealousy, only then was I able to set myself free from the heavy and painful chains of this destructive habit.

Today I see jealousy as a debilitating master that thrives on controlling thoughts and behaviors. I see it as mental confinement that hurts every relationship it touches. Here is what I learned about jealousy on my path to recovery.

  1. Jealousy stems from our deepest insecurities. Do you know yours?
  2. Jealousy is not cute. There is a common misconception that jealousy is a display of love and affection. Do you agree? I think jealously displays one’s insecurities and mistrust.
  3. Life is so much more beautiful when we liberate ourselves from the confinement of jealousy.
  4. Jealousy affects multiple aspects of our life from lovers, to colleagues, to friends and strangers who appear to be doing better.
  5. Jealousy is toxic to our inner self as well as our relationships.

My recovery from jealousy was a long and slow journey, shoot, in all honestly it still is an ongoing effort. It took years of self-reflection and soul-searching along with the support and patience of my beloved to reach a place where I finally feel in control of my thoughts and emotions. Today I can honestly say that when a woman flirts with my husband I find it cute that someone else sees him the way I do. I don’t take it as an act of disrespect or some sort of aggression. I also know that it feels nice to receive a compliment so why would I want to take that away from him. This journey empowered me to trust him unconditionally, not because he is perfect but because we have put a lot of work into our bond. Escaping the shackles of jealousy is hard work. But boy is it worth it. Here are my 5 steps that may help you overcome those jealous ways.

  1. Be honest with yourself. If you are jealous of a particular person, ask yourself why? What specific qualities do you resent in them? As difficult as it may seem it is probably because you admire something about them but your insecurities won’t let you admit it.
  2. Face your insecurities. Did you grow up without a father/mother? Did one of your parents get cheated on? Or perhaps you were cheated on yourself? Dig deep into these painful pocket of memories to discover what is driving your insecurities. The best part of this exercise is that simply discovering the cause of our insecurities is more than half the battle, the other half is catching ourselves in the act.
  3. Practice self-worth. Recognize all the beautiful and wonderful things that make you, you. Once you elevate your self-esteem you can act and react from a place of confidence. Healthy confidence is the key to fostering trusting relationships. And hey, even if they’re not faithful, the fault is on them. It is something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. Let’s face it, sometimes life is unfair but is it fair for us to walk around expecting the worst at all times? What fun is that?
  4. Let love in. Thinking and acting from a place of love is the best way to heal wounds. Try to understand that each one of us comes with baggage. Be patient with your loved ones for they too may be dealing with deep scars of their past and debilitating insecurities of the present.
  5. Be honest with your partner. Our vulnerability is what makes us beautiful. Tell your partner where you are in the process so that he or she can be more patient as you go through this life changing transition. They too will reap the benefits of a more confident and more trusting you.

I hope you found this article helpful, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, comments, and experiences.

Sending you love, peace, and good vibrations
Alyana with love

#10 Never mind equality, focus on fairness 

Not everything in life is equal. No two people are identical and no two snowflakes are the same. This rule applies to relationships as well. Not everything has to be 50/50 but it should certainly be fair. Today I ask you to take an inventory of your relationship responsibilities and evaluate if it’s a fair split. It’s easy to notice our own contributions, in fact, too often we revisit the long list of things we do for our partner, each time adding a thing or two. It takes mindfulness and practice to take note of all the things our partners do for us.  Ok, perhaps you are the only one who cleans the bathrooms but is he the only one who takes out the trash?  Maybe you are the primary cook in the home, but maybe she does all the driving for the family. Are you the one always making plans and calling for dinner reservations?  Well, maybe he is the one who always pays? Shift your focus from equality to fairness. This applies not just to housework, but to the relationship itself.  One way to ensure fairness is to make sure you are in fact contributing your talents, time and attention.

For more relationship advice check out tips #9 and #8

Inexpensive but meaningful gifts for the Holidays

If Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year why do so many of us feel incredibly stressed and overwhelmed? The advertising industry reminds us each year that we should use this time to reflect on our blessings and show appreciation to our loved ones…by buying a bunch of stuff. As if an exchange of material possessions is the only way to show love. It is one way if your bank account has a bunch of commas but for the rest of us living on a budget, there is a ton of other ways to show that we care. This holiday season if you haven’t done all your shopping just yet and are up to doing something a little different, I have a few suggestions on giving inexpensive but meaningful gifts to your loved ones.

  1. Give the gift of life, (no not a baby), a flower bulb is a wonderful way to give a gift that keeps on giving. If your friend is the busy type start with a cactus to make for an easier maintenance and to preserve its survival.
  2. Make a photo album – in today’s digital world, we take way too many pictures that are almost instantly forgotten and end up in some folder on our phone or computer hard drive. A photo album that can be touched is much more precious and is a wonderful accessory to any coffee table.
  3. Make a video clip – create a short but sweet compilation of videos for a special friend of family member.  Ask friends and relatives to share a funny memory or simply send their love. This is a gift that everyone will love and the only price you pay is the time it takes to make it.
  4. Give a voucher for a future day of fun. This doesn’t have to be an expensive outing, it can be a surprise picnic by a lake, a walk around town with a relaxing people-watching session in your favorite coffee shop or a free festival or concert.
  5. Put it in words – write an old fashioned letter where you share your warm and true feelings about the people you care about. The note can be comical (preferably not poking too much fun at the recipient), it can be emotional where you remind them just how much they mean to you or it can reminisce about a memory you two shared. There is something extra special about receiving a handwritten note. Your friends will surely love the gesture.
  6. Framed photo or inspirational quote – this simple but sweet gift will put a smile on anyone’s face. I mean who has enough inspirational quotes?
  7. Infused vodka jars – yea that’s right. This one should go to that one special friend that will appreciate it. Here are some step by step instructions
  8. Create a recipe book – there’s something old school and cool about getting a bunch of awesome recipes craftily put together in a little book. This one is great for those who love to cook.
  9. An act of service – offer your services to babysit kids, dogs, cats, fish…. or maybe a grass cutting session for your auntie or a snow cleaning for grandma. You know what your closest folks like to do the least, offer to help them with it.
  10. Last but not least tell them you love them. So many people yearn to hear these three words yet would never ask for it. Even if you come from a family that doesn’t often share their feelings, they may walk away feeling strange at first but those three words will resonate and leave an imprint on their heart whether they want it or not. You know what, they always want it. 

There is so much more to life than working and spending our hard earned money. Life is about experiences, adventures, lessons and of course love. If you come from a family of gift exchangers it may be difficult to go the minimalist route at first. Try it by explaining that either you wish to save money for a particular goal or that you don’t want to dip into your savings, maybe you would like to enjoy a simpler and more easy going holiday season for a change. If you do this you should be prepared not to receive as well. I promise this change will have lasting effects and the more you practice it, the more you will enjoy a simpler and more relaxed holiday season. After all, the Holidays are about love, peace, and unity.

Sending you love, peace, and good vibrations, this holiday season and always.