“As you’re reading this, your life’s getting shorter. It’s ticking away. I’m not saying this to frighten you. Or even scare you. Though it may. I’m saying this to awaken you. To inspire you. To rise you out of your deep slumber. To really know you won’t live forever. To share your unique gifts. To ignite your great inner fire. To ignite your great inner strength. To ignite your great inner light. To shine. Brightly shine. To awaken your great inner beauty. To motivate. Yourself and others. To love. Yourself and others. To paint. To write. To teach. To innovate. To sing. To dance. To care. To feel. To listen. To learn. To laugh. The clock’s ticking. The world needs you. Make your move.” ~Mike Litman
What if life were simple? What if it were just a matter of saying: I think Im going to dedicate my life to making myself happy- every day- from now on. Until forever. Because, well... isn't it? Isn't it that simple?
Why don't we just do that? Just say: I am dedicating all of my future envdevors to making myself happy from this day forward. Aaaaand then: just do that. And then you sort of live your daily life on a flow chart.
Does this thing make me happy?
If yes: move forward.
If no: Move another direction.
Is there really any reason this wouldn't work? Because as I sit here, I think there is not.
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 11:43 AM
"The more you know about who you are and what you want,
the less you let things upset you." -Lost In Translation.
What an interesting thought. Here I have been, focusing on the "who you are" part. Neglecting the what I want part. And I think that's a pretty little gem of wisdom there- when you know what you're working towards, it's easier not to get sidetracked by things that don't factor into it. The general consensus is that your life consists of four parts of YOU: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, and Mental. And I happen to think that there are a few quadrants of our lives that impact us, externally: Work life, Home life, Friendships, and Romantic Relationships. So I think those are good places to start. I could sit here and tell you what I personally want... but I think that would be boring. I aim to be more general in my ideas of what I find to be important goals in each of these areas.
SPIRITUALLY: I think having at least a hint of spirituality is important for everyone. Whether you want to be Buddhist, Christian, Wicca, Catholic, whatever. Believe in something. Let something be your guide. It's a documented fact that people who have some sort of faith in something feel more purpose and feel less depression than people who don't. I also think it is KEY to be tolerant of other faiths. I don't know many spiritual/religious beliefs that preach to judge other people. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and consider the fact that what works for you might not work for everyone else. And that's perfectly fine. Work towards tolerance, faith, and an altruistic love for your world and the people in it.
PHYSICALLY: You all know my stance on this by now. You only have one body, take care of it! Exercise, eat right, and get enough water and rest. For some reason, women get in this competition of "my body is supposed to look like this," which to me is (pardon my French) complete bullshit. Here's a fun fact: We are supposed to look different. People who descend from areas close to the equator tend to be taller, darker, and leaner. People whose relatives hail from closer to the poles tend to be less vertical, lighter in complexion, and heavier. There are reasons for this. God (or evolution, or whathaveyou) didn't intend for us to all look alike. We need to be healthy, not a replica on whoever is on the cover of Vogue that month. And what is healthy for me might not be healthy for someone in Timbuktu. I try not to eat a ton of red meat, not over muffin top but because I don't need the extra insulation the way somebody in Alaska would. I also need more cardio then someone in some rural village in China because I don't walk everywhere I go. Do what works FOR YOU. Work towards your internal health- a healthy heart, lungs, and muscular strength to live your longest life possible.
EMOTIONALLY: This one is tough to be specific on. I will start by saying that I once knew a girl who preached that women are TOO emotional, and ought to be 100% rational. Like being emotional is a flaw. I (respectfully) disagree. Engage in sympathy. Practice compassion. Don't make a basket case of yourself, but allow yourself to feel things. Have you ever seen a dog when it's owner leaves and comes back again? It's in our most primal of instincts to have upset and joy. Emotions are A-Okay. Work towards allowing yourself to feel joy and sadness- not only directed at your own life but at others as well.
MENTALLY: This is one I hold near and dear. So many people get stuck in these ruts where they stop challenging themselves. We get comfortable and plop our lazy arses down at our jobs and with our learning. We reach for the remote control and rather than learn something from the world around us, watch trash television about how some nincompoop moron can dress like a skeeze and make out with everyone in their co-ed house. How are you possibly growing from watching that crap?? I am currently 27 years old. I have all the time in the world to continue learning about the world around me, and I fully intend to do just that. With technology as it is, I can practically teleport to anywhere I want. Turn on the TV, I mean go for it. But don't put on something pointless. Turn on something that will teach you something new, or show you a place you'd never be able to see otherwise. I don't want to sound all Disney here, but there is a great big world of knowledge out there for the taking. Work towards taking it.
WORK LIFE: Everyone is different, and therefore we all have different gifts to contribute to the world. Find yours. Use it. Don't just punch in numbers every day (unless you're a big numbers fan!)... find your passion. If you're stuck at a job that you're not a fan of, I get that. I really do. But there is a difference between trolling through every day and figuring out how you can make it better. Come up with ideas that will allow you to contribute your gifts to your current job. Ideally you should go for your dream job, but in this economy that can get sticky. If you aren't happy, improve the things you have at hand. Work towards making the best of what you've got. And if that's not possible, work towards getting someplace else.
HOME LIFE: I think this is an arena where you really have to examine what your home values are. Your home is your sanctuary, and as with everything else it takes different strokes for different folks. Some people like to be active. Their priorities are to make sure their home is fun and active, and perhaps with less of an emphasis on tidiness or exact order. There is NOTHING wrong with that in my book. But- if you are a person who puts an emphasis on cleanliness and quiet, don't live with these people who don't! And vice-versa, of course. This is their sanctuary too, and arguing over how each person is naturally different is a losing battle for all parties. Once that is figured out, decide the best way to create a home environment that works for you. Clean and quiet, loud and fun... do what makes you happy at the end of each day. This is your HOME. Work towards making it a place you like to be as often as you like.
FRIENDSHIPS: This has always been one of my biggest challenges. Make time for your friends. Organize activities together. Call every so often, just to check in. Send birthday cards, or cards for no reason. Cultivate the friendships in your life. These bonds are more important than you know. One of the most, most, MOST important things I think people neglect in friendships is to listen. To listen and not just wait for your turn to speak. I can't tell you how many people I know who don't fully submerge themselves in their friend's personal dilemmas. Listening is a lost art. Wait until you are asked for advice before you give it. Work towards being the friend you'd like to have, yourself.
ROMANTIC LIFE: Some of us are single. And some of us are in romantic relationships. And ALL of us need to practice being the person we need to be, ourselves, before we can ever fully commit to someone else. I've been in healthy relationships and unhealthy ones, and I can attest to the knowledge that if we forget who WE are, we can never be available for anyone else. I'm not advocating being a selfish person in love, only that it's important that you keep your head on straight. Romantic feelings are literally similar to drug use. We submerge ourselves in it, we crave it, we get withdrawls when it's gone from us. When we are in love with someone, our bodies pulsate with Oxytocin (the feel-good endorphin). And when that happens, it's easy to lose ourselves in it. Sorry to factor out the romance there, but this is important to know. Having said that- I also believe that if you are going to love somebody, do it completely. I think that the knowledge of yourself factors into this. Once you know yourself, and know your limits and aspirations in the old 'Amore,' you can give yourself permission to let yourself fall into love. Because if you're going to fall, it's good know know where you want to land. Work on loving. Work on loving yourself. Work on loving another. And love the BOTH of you with everything you've got.
So there you've got it. That's what I think about what I want. And you're free to think differently on any of this. But I think once you can develop these habits, the little things don't much matter anymore. Because they become insignificant in the big picture.
One bad work day... an unnecessary heartbreak... not being a size zero...
Life is about loving all of it,
And forgetting the things that wont matter once you get to the important stuff.
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 10:11 AM
A friend of mine was saying how my home decor style is similar to Anthropologie's. I am SUPER flattered by that statement and decided to show you a few of my favorite things from their site!
... of course these are all about a bazillion dollars, but a girl can dream, right??
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 2:39 PM
I have always been a person of simple pleasures. I find myself taking Nora on her daily walks and literally stopping to smell flowers as I pass them. There is one neighbor, in particular, who has Honeysuckles and it reminds me of elementary school when we would have them growing near the track. To me the small things have always been the most important. And it remains essential to my "-ness" to slow down to enjoy them. Which is probably why I absolutely detest being too busy to do just that.
One of my favorite things in the entire world is to get off work, take a steaming hot shower, and lounge in comfy clothes reading while I lay on my sun-drenched bed. It's warm, and I'm clean and refreshed. What I'm reading is irrelevant. If there is candy there, it's all the better! It's so peaceful and serene... and it's something I try to do whenever I can.
Life is about slowing down to enjoy these things. And I think that many people forget to carve out time to do just that. Right now is all we've got right now, and we should enjoy it. It's been so nice these past few days to have nowhere to be and nothing to do. I've been taking Nora on walks, and I went to yoga last night. But other than that it's been a lovely do-nothing sorta week. Which is my favorite kind! Even today I am at work in comfy clothes and it feels amazing. I guess I'm being Hedonistic, and I'm okay with that. Once in a while, I think it's good to bask in pleasure. I'm sure that at some point I will have some responsibility to attend to. But today I am simply being happy and relaxed. I highly recommend it.
What Hedonistic activities can you conjure up today?
"Loneliness does not come from being alone, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important." - Carl Jung.
I often wonder why I constantly feel the need to blog. I wont lie, I even make fun of myself on occasion for it. Why is it that I feel like anyone, known to me or not, would care about what I have to say? Once on Facebook, someone went as far as to say that he didn't understand why anyone without kids would bother to keep a blogspot (which I found to be sort of a rude statement, but oh well). What is it that makes any of us write down our thoughts for the world to read? And it wasn't until reading this quote that it sort of all pieced together. We are all, to some extent, a little lonely. Not in that we are alone, but we all have these thoughts and feelings that go unexpressed. It's sort of similar to that old saying about it being worse to be ignored than to be disliked. All of us have a voice, and whether we want to admit it or not, we all want it to be heard. Sometimes I think my blogs aren't very relevant or helpful. But I still write. And I don't do it because I feel like I have these pearls of wisdom to impart on anyone. I do it because I have these things that I want to express in some way, shape, and form. You know?
I read an interesting interview this morning with Jay Z where he said: I think it's every human's job to inspire others, to feed one another's senses. Inspiration begets inspiration times infinity. Imagine if the person that was inspired to create the phonograph didn't share it with the world. I really loved that quote. It's so true. Even on a small scale. We all have a variety of gifts to imprint on the world- small and large- and it is our DUTY to share them. We are all in this together, and as such it's important to make sure to inspire and lift each other up. As individuals we may be small, but as a whole we are great. Maybe nothing I say will create any major waves, but what if I can inspire someone else to greatness? What an amazing responsibility we can all have in that sense.
So today's blog may be redundant in that it's about itself... but it's good to know that I'm doing something here. Potentially even doing something building towards another person's greatness. That would be pretty awesome.
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 9:50 AM
“Make a list. Cross it off. Build a fort. Read a magazine. Turn off the tv. Make some coffee. Smell the flowers. Take a day off. Take two days off. Take a week off. Go outside. Buy a plane ticket. Leave the country. Fall in love. Wear something new. Wear nothing. Camp a mountain. Swim with the fish. Paint a picture. Paint yourself. Listen to new music. Listen to old music. Play music. Take a walk. Make a new friend. Reconnect with old friends. Write people letters. Send the letters. Tell the truth. Grow your own fruit. Look at the stars. Breathe in. Breathe out. Now, remember this moment.”
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 4:06 PM
In every sense of it, flexibility is vital to our health. In our physical bodies, I feel that it is important to be able to bend & to stretch out our limbs. I've learned in my years of practicing yoga that when doing poses that it's good to reach yourself out, even beyond yourself, and take up as much space as you possibly can. Stretch and bend into every possible space surrounding you.
And whouda thunk I'd bring this topic into the non-physical portions of our lives?? Right, then. Emotional flexibility is symbolized by the tree bending in the wind. It survives because it can bend and not break. Sometimes, it is important to not be set so firmly that you can't bend. Oh I'm sure it's good to be set in your values and convictions and all of that- but you also need to be able to stretch yourself and wind yourself around the changes that come into your life.
For example: I enrolled in that Hot Yoga class. And initially I was ALL about it. 90 minutes of hot yoga, with the possibility of attending 7 days per week. Awesome. The first week I went full throttle, and I felt great about it. The second week, my dedication started to fizzle as my days became consumed with going to this class and then coming home to shower, eat, and go to bed. I noticed that my body felt stretched out and I enjoyed that. But I also felt dehydrated and dried out, not to mention that I was eating dinners past 9pm which is not good for you. In my last week of the class I started to realize that this might not be my best work out option, and that I have felt my healthiest when I was walking Nora for an hour a day right after work. The sun has been out & it's been gorgeous, and I normally sit inside ALL day long. So getting outside is a good physical as well as emotional workout. And with that realization, I have decided to stop going to my Hot Yoga class. I will continue to do yoga, but probably not at that studio. And honestly I feel really good about that decision. I feel much more at peace today as a result of not rushing around yesterday. I have my thoughts collected and I feel a regenerative push to get back to my April goals.
It's that flexibility that allows us to examine what we thought we HAD to do and turn it into what we OUGHT to do. And then we pursue that. Life is meant to be lived right now, not tomorrow or yesterday. Here is another example...
I had a long talk with a friend of mine yesterday about certain things going on in my life, and my attitude about them. I was driving, and whenever I drive I have a tendency to speak from my gut because I'm concentrating on the road and not really on trying to sound any way in particular. This has gotten me in trouble many times in the past, haha. But anyways, I was explaining my take on some events that have the potential to be somewhat turbulent in my life. I said that I was tired of worrying. I was tired of worrying about yesterday, I was tired about worrying about tomorrow. I was sick and just plain old tired of stressing about things that I had no control over for one reason of another. Life was going to take the course it was meant to- whether I worried about it or not. Whether I relived my yesterdays in my mind or stressed about my tomorrows in my head. If there is one thing I have learned in the past couple of years, and I mean this statement in 100% sincerity: the most important thing I have learned is that you cannot predict life. The lyrics of a 90's song echo in my head almost daily: Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. And I couldn't agree more. The things in my life that have been REAL, the things that were worth worrying about, have never been anything I could have seen coming. Not even an hour before they happened. So why? Why worry that tomorrow is going to be a failure? Why stress over my yesterday's not 'cutting it?' Why?
Life is about flexibility. It's about standing on that board and swaying with the movement in order to not get thrown off. Not one single thing in this world is stagnant, permanent, or THE END. Not one. So take your fears, your conclusions, and your set ways- and throw them away. I mean kick them to the curb. Go with the flow, flow with the go, and just embrace whatever comes your way as the beauty of the unpredictable.
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 9:32 AM
...after I posted that blog I did a bit of blog-stalking and happened on this entry @ one of my favorite blogspots. Elsie rules, check out her blog if you have time!
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 12:06 PM
So lately I have felt slightly unfocused. A little scatterbrained and hectic, which are not my favorite feelings. I liked Zen Megan, where I could sit with my thoughts and really feel out my mind's course. It isn't that I have been a train wreck or anything by all means, only that I feel like my days have been blurring together... like the only periods of time when I have myself are the minute I wake up and then ten minutes later when it's bedtime again. I can blame it on any number of things... I haven't been getting as much sleep as I ought to. I have been going to that hot yoga class which, including travel and getting ready time, takes up almost 3 hours of my evenings. Work has been busy and I haven't had time to peruse my feel-good blogspots as much (I realize that isn't my job, but it's still my relaxation time). I have been rushed in the mornings and had to drink Slim Fast shakes rather than eat a piece of fruit like I should.
Whatever the reasons, the past week or so hasn't been my most concentrated. And a part of me loves that fact, and another part of me is a little bit disappointed. I was on this high for so long where I constantly felt pretty in tune, and now I feel somewhat distanced from my trains of thought. But I guess it's good to stay busy, right? And not to be bored. But for someone who has always taken great pleasure in psychological endeavors, I kind of miss my little self-project. I'm trying to kind of feel out what was pushing me to be more introspective and get back to that place. I suppose for starters I'm going to need to start getting more sleep. Lack of sleep always makes me feel frazzled.
Life throws us a hell of a lot of curve balls. And I think one of the most important things is to know ourselves and know what our "resting rate" is; our norm. And to know what we need to do to maintain it. For me it's a lot to do with the way I take care of myself. And also a lot to do with how much time I spend reading and enjoying my own company. So I think I will attempt to push that a bit more this coming week.
What do you do to get back to "You?"
Yesterday was my Mom's birthday. I wont reveal her age, so lets just say that she's 45. A thing that I think is funny about Moms in general is that many of us spend so much of our lives aiming to be unlike them, but at the end of the day we end up a lot more alike than we even realize. Growing up my mom and I went through some rough stuff. I was, initially, her Baby. The youngest of 5 kids and really the epitome of sweet and innocent. I was always an oddball and somewhat socially awkward, so I didn't really go through the rebellious snobby adolescent phase... at least not until much later than most girls. So my Mom and I were close for a long, long time. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I really started to question my relationship with my mother or her authority over me. And as with most of the things in my life- I had to check it out for myself. And I did. My mom and I grew massively apart and I behaved in some ways that to this day I cringe at. It wasn't until my mid-twenties that we finally became close again. I don't want to delve too much past that for several reasons: one being respect and another being that I don't want to bore you. My point here is that I think this is a common thread in women with their mothers. Both of my sisters have had their share of ups and downs with my mom. I suspect it's common with other people too. Isn't it funny how that whole equation works? I don't know if it's the same way with men and their fathers, but it's strange to me that the people who give us the most- more than anyone else in our lives- become the person we least want to emulate. Not forever, but in some people it goes much further past adolescence. And isn't it funny how often we run into ourselves years down the line and realize we have become our parent's children? There are qualities in my mother that I don't want to inherit, to be sure. But there are those same qualities in any person I have or would ever meet. I think that a lot of it is just people pushing so hard against something that they inadvertently become it- it consumes them. My mom also has about a bazillion qualities that I pray I can acquire, and I hope that happens for me. Her kindness and her silliness, for starters. My mom also has a sensitivity about her, a tenderness... she is very much a mother in that sense. She wants everybody to be happy, even if it means she might not be. Her fears and upsets are kept to herself, as to not burden anyone else with them. My mom is also very independent (which I am CERTAIN I inherited from her), and I can't think of many times that she will ask for help on something even if she needs it. Above everything, above EVERYTHING, here is a woman who loves her family. Family is everything to my Mother, and to me that is one of the most beautiful things to witness. I never had parents who were negligent of my needs, substantially or emotionally. Her babies have always taken first priority in her life. Its amazing how many people in today's world aren't blessed with that gift. And I sometimes forget to bask in gratefulness for the fact that my mother is this way. These are all qualities that I hope I can acquire.
In a world full of people to become your heroes... sometimes it's important to remember that you were already born of one.
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 1:44 PM