Why Your Shadow MATTERS!

๐Ÿ’ฌ “๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐จ๐๐ข๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ’๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ. ๐€๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ, ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ง๐š๐ , ๐ญ๐ก๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ.” ~ ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐ฅ ๐‰๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ’ฌ

The Shadow is the parts of ourselves we reject, the primal emotions we suppress for the sake of societal approval, the parts we deny out of a personal desire to deny they exist. โŒ

You could also think of the Shadow like “the devil on your shoulder”. The Shadow includes the thoughts that come up in your mind you’d never tell anyone else you thought. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Think of an individual who is so kind, so loving, and so quiet. But one day you hear about an incident where they lost their temper, and you think to yourself: “NO! That is NOT the person I know! That is NOT who they are!” ๐Ÿ›‘

Or think of the priest who vocally condemns homosexuality in his church but is eventually found to have participated in homosexual acts. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

โžก๏ธ These are examples of the Shadow at play. โฌ…๏ธ

๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ”จ

๐–๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฃ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ฆ: “๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ!” ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ŸŽญ

It’s why there’s so many people with emotional issues. It’s why we have many immature adults, ones who’ve never taken the opportunity to be better in touch with themselves. ๐Ÿ˜”

Instead, many have unfortunately had to settle for cultural expectations of possessing certain personality traits while suppressing others. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

A man needs to always be masculine and suppress his femininity (“Boys don’t cry”), while a female needs to always be feminine and suppress her masculinity (“Girls, know your place”). โ†•๏ธ

๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ. ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

In some circles like self-help and spirituality, the idea of the Shadow can be frowned upon. “Let go of the things which don’t serve you.” “If you focus on it, the more energy you give to it.” ๐Ÿ‘Ž

I understand those perspectives, however I take Carl Jung’s perspective: “I’d rather be whole than good.” I’d rather accept every part of me, the good and the bad, the gentle and the aggressive, than suppress it. ๐Ÿ‘ค

๐Ÿค” So, how does one integrate their Shadow? ๐Ÿค”

The first step is acknowledgment of its existence. Whatever your Shadow is will differ from person to person. ๐Ÿ™Œ

This DOESN’T mean you have to start expressing your Shadow or have to start identifying with it. It’s simply about acknowledging it, you making a personal commitment to being brutally honest of seeing every part of yourself, whether you are “proud” it or not. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฉ๐ก๐จ๐›๐ข๐œ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ.

๐Ÿ“ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ƒ๐ซ. ๐‰๐ž๐ค๐ฒ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Œ๐ซ. ๐‡๐ฒ๐๐ž.

We acknowledge our capacity for evil while simultaneously choosing to be good. ๐ŸŽญ

As written in The Gulag Archipelago ๐Ÿ“–: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐ฅ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ .” ๐Ÿ‘ค

So, with this acknowledgement and acceptance of our Shadows, we can then take action! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐‘๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐ฎ๐ฌ, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ! ๐Ÿ’ช

“๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ข ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ. ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ’๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด. ๐Ÿ˜ 

๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด?” ๐Ÿค”

What are some ways you could use your Shadow energy of anger and aggression for more constructive means?

โšฝ๏ธ You could take up a competitive sport.

๐Ÿ‹๏ธ You could use this energy in your workouts.

๐Ÿ’จ You could use it to get your work done faster.

๐Ÿ™Œ You could use it in situations which legitimately call for you to become more aggressive.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‘๐„ ๐ˆ๐ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐“๐‘๐Ž๐‹. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ! ๐Ÿ˜„

It’s what I mean when I tell people “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”. ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Integrating our Shadow can be VERY useful. But we always need to make sure we’re in control and using it for a healthy means. ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐–๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐’๐ก๐š๐๐จ๐ฐ, ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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LET ME KNOW IF YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL! โฌ‡๏ธ

Why It’s 100% OKAY!

I wish I had heard these words back when I suffered with depression.ย ๐Ÿ˜ž

Yes, for nearly a decade I suffered with depression. It’s why I’m so passionate about mental health today!ย ๐Ÿ‘Š

It’s because I’ve been there that I want to show others there’s ways out of it.

And the 1st thing I’d say to someone who is depressed is these words…

โค๏ธย IT’S OKAY…TO NOT BE OKAY.ย โค๏ธ

“But Donald, don’t enable people to keep being depressed! We want to get them OUT of depression, not stay in it! Don’t be stupid!”ย ๐Ÿคช

Ah, but I agree with you here! I don’t want people to be in negative emotional states any longer than they need to be! We’re on the same page here!ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

Where we differ is in the solution!ย โ†”๏ธ

I won’t allow them to shame their emotions. If there’s anything I’ve learned in overcoming depression, it wasn’t by trying to push and force my emotions out of my mind. In fact, I see this method causing much more harm than good.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Hear me out! As a regular meditator, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned with this practice is that our emotions, like our thoughts, are like the weather; they are temporary.ย ๐Ÿ’จ

But the more we resist them when they do appear (our thoughts, our emotions) and we demonize them, the longer they tend to remain.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

If I told you right now NOT think of a pink elephant, what just came into your mind? And if I kept telling you to stop thinking about the pink elephant, what thought remains?ย ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŒŸย Your constant focus on what you don’t want is why it’s still here. It has the OPPOSITE effect from what you intend.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

๐Ÿ“Œย Accept WHATEVER you’re feeling. Place no positive or negative label on your present emotions.

๐Ÿ“Œย See if there’s any message your emotions are trying to give you. For depression: the message may be you’re focusing too much on negative thoughts. For anxiety: the message may be you’re doing too many things at once.

๐Ÿ“Œย Once your emotions have no further use, start taking actions in behavior to shift your feelings. It’s different from demonizing and suppressing your feelings. Your behavior will influence the change. Remember: FEELINGS FOLLOW BEHAVIOR!

Hope this helps!ย โค๏ธ

Why Acceptance is CRUCIAL!

๐ŸŒŸย “When you ARGUE with reality, you always lose.”ย ๐ŸŒŸ

If I can count the many times I’ve been stressed in my life, I can say looking back with certainty, they weren’t necessary if I just remembered this principle.ย ๐Ÿค”

Or to put it another way…

๐ŸŒŸย “What upsets people is not things themselves but their JUDGEMENTS about the things.”ย ๐ŸŒŸ

I want to let you know: we can save ourselves a TON of needless suffering if we remember this!ย ๐Ÿ‘

๐ŸŒŸย “ACCEPT things as they are, not worse then they are.”ย ๐ŸŒŸ

Often we do this unconsciously in our default mode setting, when we’re not actively paying attention to our thoughts and emotions. It’s why it’s so important we develop our self-awareness.ย ๐Ÿ’ฏ

And one way we start doing this is by practicing acceptance.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐Ÿคฌย “But Donald! This thing that just happened SHOULD NEVER have happened! How can you ACCEPT such injustices?!”ย ๐Ÿคฌ

To clarify, acceptance doesn’t mean we support something. It means we consciously give neutrality to a situation, to our thoughts, and to our emotions. For a temporary moment, we don’t label it “good” or “bad”. It just is.ย ๐Ÿ‘

We accept whatever is in the present moment so we can clear our clouded minds and discern the situation with a much clearer understanding.ย ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ

So the next time you become aware of your emotions controlling you, take back the reins, identify the emotions that are arising, and accept them UNCONDITIONALLY. Yes, even acceptance of the “negative” emotions too!ย ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Add in some deep breaths, and you’ll be surprised how much faster they’ll pass with acceptance.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

“Now…where was I?”ย ๐Ÿ’ก

Why Self-Care is CRUCIAL!

๐Ÿ›‘ย ๐™„โ€™๐™‘๐™€ ๐™ƒ๐˜ผ๐˜ฟ ๐™€๐™‰๐™Š๐™๐™‚๐™ƒ ๐™Š๐™ ๐™‰๐™€๐™’ ๐™”๐™Š๐™๐™†!!!ย ๐Ÿ›‘

It was only 3 hours ago the clock hit noon.ย ๐Ÿ•›ย But I had already made the decision: Time for me to head out of New York City, and time for me to head back to my AirBnb in New Jersey to call it quits for the day.ย ๐Ÿ‘

Have you ever had a moment where youโ€™re in the middle of something and the realization hits you that you are BURNED OUT?ย ๐Ÿ˜ชย That moment hit me this morning!

I had gone back into the city to do some more sightseeing, and then…

๐Ÿšงย ๏ผข๏ผก๏ผญ๏ผ ๏ผฒ๏ผฏ๏ผก๏ผค๏ผข๏ผฌ๏ผฏ๏ผฃ๏ผซ๏ผ๐Ÿšง

I had been ignoring the messages my body was trying to tell me the past day.ย ๐Ÿ“ฌย But now they had reached the surface of my mind and it became clear as day: I needed to rest!ย ๐Ÿ˜ด

Reminding myself of the marathon tomorrow, I knew this was the best option. While you bet your bottom-dollar Iโ€™ll be at the starting line tomorrow, I canโ€™t be there with less than a half-tank of gas!ย โ›ฝ

๐ŸŒŸย ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ% ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ% ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž!ย ๐ŸŒŸ

So, Iโ€™m taking some Me Time the rest of the day. To introspect. To refocus. To be present again with my thoughts, away from the excessive noise of the city.ย ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ

To be fair, Iโ€™ve heard over a couple dozen cars honking outside my window as I write this but itโ€™s better than nothing!ย ๐Ÿ˜…

If thereโ€™s one thing Iโ€™ve learned traveling so much is you need to make sure youโ€™re taking care of yourself.ย โค๏ธย When you travel, you are stepping outside your regular routines, adapting to your new surroundings, and that will take time. You may even at times be required to simply improvise.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ’๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐ฆ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐๐„๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐Ž๐ข๐ง๐ .ย ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m back at my AirBnb now. ๐’๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐„๐„๐ƒ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐–๐€๐๐“.ย ๐Ÿ›‘

I got to tell you: it can be the greatest form of self-love you give yourself today!ย โค๏ธ

๐Ÿ›‘ย ๐™„โ€™๐™‘๐™€ ๐™ƒ๐˜ผ๐˜ฟ ๐™€๐™‰๐™Š๐™๐™‚๐™ƒ ๐™Š๐™ ๐™‰๐™€๐™’ ๐™”๐™Š๐™๐™†!!!ย ๐Ÿ›‘

Now that Iโ€™m giving myself the time to introspect, Iโ€™m able to take a step back and reflect since I arrived here. Iโ€™ve had some great moments in New York so far, especially ones with local friends of mine.ย โ˜บ๏ธ

But even more, Iโ€™ve experienced many opportunities for growth. These may also be referred to as โ€œproblemsโ€, but they only remain problems so long as you donโ€™t grow from them.ย ๐ŸŽ

As much as I may not have initially enjoyed experiencing these things, Iโ€™m grateful I did so I could learn from them:

๐Ÿงณย Not knowing how to fit my luggage through a trainโ€™s turnstile

๐ŸŽซย Not knowing how to purchase bus tickets

๐ŸšŒย Getting on the wrong bus, wasting a bus ticket I bought for another

๐Ÿ’ธย Rode a bus which only accepted cash and all I had was my credit card

๐Ÿ‘ฃย Not anticipating how much Iโ€™d use buses, trains, and my 2 feet to get around

๐Ÿฆตย Not anticipating how much my leg muscles would be aching after a single day

Perhaps some of you, my urban-dwelling friends, are reading this list and laughing at how trivial it sounds.ย ๐Ÿคฃย I donโ€™t blame you! I was raised in the quiet suburbs of Chicago most of my life, so I understand how silly these will sound to some.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

But this post isnโ€™t about throwing a pity party or talking to you about first-world problems. Itโ€™s to remind you that while we may at times purposefully take on goals which challenge us, like running a Marathon, weโ€™re always going to run into goals we never planned on taking on.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

๐ŸŒŸย ๐‹๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ, ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ โ€œ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ญโ€ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

And our willingness to take on the goals we didnโ€™t ask for is where the greatest opportunities for growth will come in!ย ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ

And so I lay here, in my AirBnb bed, thinking about all thatโ€™s happened. I smile looking back on it all, how my mind initially magnified those โ€œproblemsโ€, how I was aware my mind was magnifying them, and how I focused on solutions nonetheless. I look back and laugh.ย ๐Ÿคญ

๐Ÿย ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ก ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ.ย ๐Ÿ

Soon after, youโ€™ll be asking yourself: โ€œSoโ€ฆwhatโ€™s next?!โ€ย ๐Ÿ’ช