What is normal anyway?

I have a little secret to share with you, something that only a few people on this entire world know about me…until today I suppose.

I have a physical reaction to cringe whenever anyone would tell me that I was weird or crazy. Have you ever experienced anything like this yourself?

I’ve tried for a good portion of my life to please others while largely flying under the radar. It took me a good portion of my life to be comfortable with my own personality, quirks and all. I had several traumatic childhood experiences (I know, who didn’t) but it really shaped much of what I was willing to show others about myself. My mom suffers from mental illness and this created a complex living situation. I never knew what I was going to walk into when I would get home. Each day was unexpected, could be a fun day of cooking, laughing and playing games or strange oddities such as being told that the dust in the house was being rearranged.

At the time, this did not create many anxieties for me. Later I understood that you only know what your surroundings provide to you. Amidst all the chaos that I know I was in, there was a sense of normality while I was going through it as if it was simply part of everyday life.  Once I had the vernacular to know that life could be different, I made it my mission to achieve that for myself.

But I knew in the back of my mind that mental illnesses can be inherited and anytime that someone would tell me that I was being weird or crazy, I would get this visceral physical reaction and want to shrink up into a ball and fly away. I wanted no association with those terms, EVER! I was terrified of the prospect that if people were telling me that…I was turning into my mother. This lead to me always be very *careful* with how I behaved and what I said, erring on the side of normal so not to be thought weird or crazy. Somewhere along the line I realized that I was really stifling who I was and more importantly who I was meant to be in my life. I began to ask myself questions like “What is normal anyway?” and “Who has the right to judge what is normal?” However, I had treaded the line of suppressing myself to fit in the “normal” box for so long it took me a lot of exploring to determine what the authentic me looked like.

As I began to become more open to showing who I AM all sorts of wonderful things began to happen. I began to recognize that individuals who were using those terms about me, really where showing more a reflection of who they were than an actual depiction of who I was. This really softened the physical responses that I had over time. Also, the people that began to come into my life had an appreciation for who I was. Yes, I may have been different, but the terms weird or crazy where not what they saw. This in turn bolstered my confidence to want to show more of who I really AM and wanted to become. Another wonderful side effect was that I began to find happiness in my life, being able to express freely. A good, longtime friend said that he viewed me as “slightly altered”, today I can take a statement like that and know that there is beauty in the being different. But long ago, I would have crumbled.

You must explore the depths of your being to find who you are and then learn to love it all, the good and the bad of it. Only in this way do you become aware to the whole truth of the matter; the process of shaping yourself is eternal and only you have the choice of what each stage entails. Not only does your perspective change that shifts your past experiences, you are faced with new challenges that continue to shape the current individual that you are to become.

Once you readily own this, it becomes an incredible space of freedom that can be achieved in no other way. So today go out and be free to show this world who you are!

 

 

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual activist providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – guiding you to use practical techniques to reactivate understanding and spiritual connection, so that you can begin masterfully building the life of your desires.

Speak Your Truth.

Empowerment is a term very commonly and freely used in the self-help arena.

Empowering oneself often means to give yourself the authority and capabilities to achieve your goals. I would like to suggest that this term by its very definition can be debilitating.  I know that this seems to be an odd standpoint on a word that is so freely used, but I want you to consider this.

Today “empowerment” invokes power while signifying the lack of it, to begin with. Empowerment does not increase your potential so much as it assures you that your potential was and is just as it should be. The term empowerment is synonymous with permission, approval, and consent. The implications are that before you made the decision to stand for yourself, you did not have the authority to do so. But, you always have!

This word has become widely used as a marketing tactic to apply a feeling of power behind something, typically products you can use. But here’s the thing, you’ve had the power all the while.

I had previously experienced a situation related to work. A bit of back history, I’m not one that reveals in confrontation. In many instances, even when I have something to say I won’t engage if I believe it will lead to conflict. This may sound like I’m too timid or shy, however it’s quite the contrary.  You see, I value my energy and what I focus on. So, I just assess if it’s worth the energy that I will have to expend to confront an unwanted situation and in more instances than not, it is something I will let go.

But, I had a situation at work where there was an implication about my work effort that simply had no merit. This particular instance I was not prepared to let it go. I set aside some time to carefully and thoughtfully allow a space for me to speak my truth, unsolicited and after the fact, I might add. I truly spoke from a loving place that honored who I was and what I wanted to represent and it definitely seemed to soften the response.

Afterward, I experienced this amazing powerful release that you can have when you voice your truth for someone to know and they accept it. This situation could have been considered an empowering one, but in reflection I had an understanding that this capacity, to speak my truth, is always within me. I did not need any permission, approval or consent to use it.

So you see it becomes more about the recognition of your power within. Don’t get sucked into the glamour of “being empowered” today. Own it, embody it, use it! You are all powerful and don’t ever need to be empowered to know that.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual activist providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – guiding you to use practical techniques to reactivate understanding and spiritual connection, so that you can begin masterfully building the life of your desires.

Alter the Window Through Which You View the World

We all hear so much today about how much your life can change when you practice positive thinking and even research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude.

Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.

But I want to expand upon this thought even further. I’d like you to visit a place called perspective.

Over the years of my life I began to recognize that there is two basic ways to change your circumstance. One is to physically make changes that by their very nature, create change for you. The other is to change your perspective about your circumstance, thereby shifting your thoughts and feelings.

Several years ago my husband passed away at what many would consider to be a young age and I can tell you without a doubt losing anyone that is such an integral part of your life is one of the most painful experiences.

Now looking back, I decided that could look at that part of my life in one of two ways: either I was destined to live a miserable life full of pain, hurt, and injustice for what I had lost; or I could choose to revel in all the joy that we shared and that allowed me to sink into the gratitude for the time that we did have thereby coming out stronger, better, and more spiritually aligned than if I did not go through it.

I opted for the latter.

You see absolutely nothing has changed about the circumstance, but EVERYTHING changes with a shift in perspective. This single realization, that is part of mindset, created a knowing that I can shift my perspective to experience my life in the way that choose was so powerful for me! I found so much comfort knowing that I had the power to change my feelings in an instant by changing my perspective.

We all experience personal tragedies of one sort or another but how we view what we are going through is completely up to us. Even after I realized the importance of perspective, I still had moments when I let the negative invade. When that happened, I changed my thoughts in the way below to shift my mind back to a place of peace.

There is not one single thing that lasts forever. No emotion or circumstance lasts indefinitely. Life is comprised of ebbs and flows, we all experience good and bad in life.

We live in a place of duality. There is so much more than the physical world we see and feel. There is an energetic vibration, encompassing spirit and purpose. When I remember to tap into that deeper meaning behind what I am experiencing, then I can accept what I am going through with greater ease.

We have a choice in how we view things. Today, as I reflect on all of my comprised experiences I know that I have a choice about how I want to think and feel about them, so much has come from it.

Take a moment and reflect your life, how many of the tough times that you endured have actually turned out to be a blessing? Only you have the choice to find the bright side in your situation, no matter how tough it seems. The most empowering way is by changing your perspective and identifying the positive of each experience.

Remember, changing your perspective is like altering the window through which you view the world. The window still exists in the same way it always has, you’ve just changed your mindset about how you relate to it. When you can change how you view the world, it will change how you feel about it.

It is my belief that changing the perspective of your mindset is really key to masterfully building the life of your desires!

-Angie

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual activist providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – guiding you to use practical techniques to reactivate understanding and spiritual connection, so that you can begin masterfully building the life of your desires.
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