It’s one thing to have wisdom and it’s a whole different thing to live wisdom.
Through the majority of my life, like most people I suppose, I’ve been searching for a connection, a sense of belonging, a feeling of BEING whole. I’ve explored a variety of paths in search of this feeling of BEING whole or a sense of completeness, including a wide variety of religions, multiple forms of counseling, self help programs and books. For along time I thought my feelings of disconnectedness were associated with being an only child. I’ve also wondered if these feelings were related to the isolation I felt as a child keeping secrets about being gay, but what I’ve come to realize through a lifetime of exploring, sharing and listening is that everyone wrestles with feelings of disconnectedness. We ALL have times when we feel incomplete or isolated and we ALL have different ways of coping with those feelings.
Recently, I’ve been practicing meditation. Nothing fancy or difficult at all, simply taking 10 minutes a day to focus on a single breath at a time. I sit and listen to ocean waves as I breathe and focus on, inhalation “this” exhalation “breath”. With each inhalation and exhalation I repeat the words, “this” “breath” “this” “breath” “this” “breath” and any time I get distracted by thoughts, as soon as I realize it, I return to my focus on “this” “breath”.
When I first started, my breathing was very intentional and somewhat forced, but as I practice, I’ve noticed I can actually focus on each breath as it occurs naturally. I’ve managed to have a 10 day streak with this practice of simply focusing on my breath for 10 minutes each day and do you know what??? I’ve actually noticed a difference in the way I react to things in my life because I’m more aware and I feel more awake. I’ve heard in the practice of meditation, the goal is not to master meditation, but to live more aware of this moment. My practice of meditation has definitely increased my feelings of belonging because I’ve come to realize that I belong to me and I’ve accepted that I’m perfectly incomplete.
I’d like to share some drawings I started when I began meditating. I think it will be clear how the continued meditation has affected the outcome. This was my very first one, the red dot with the white center is a representation of me during meditation. The white represents clarity, pure positive energy. All the blurry dots of color surrounding me, represent the distractions of life, though muted, still present.
This next one, it seems I’ve managed to separate my self from the distractions of life and decreased their number.
This final drawing is one of my favorites. Look at all that clear blue that is clarity of mind. Pure of spirit and completely connected to the wholeness of myself.
Can you imagine how amazing it feels to come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to achieve perfection. I can rest and enjoy the moments of my life rather than chasing some version of myself that will never be. We’re ever evolving and I’m happy where I am and eager for further clarity.
There are so many wonderful and inspiring things going on right now that I want to share with you guys, but I have to decide for ME what has the highest priority in this moment. When I take the time to make a mindful decision, it’s easy to choose.
As faithful followers of Apozitude, you know my mission is to raise awareness, because as I’ve quoted Peter Matthiessen in the past, “The purpose of our life is to help others through it” and with Apozitude my mission is to help others through life by shining a light on the fact that we are empowered with the ability to choose. We can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, but we certainly can control our reaction to those circumstances. Even in what seems like a horrible situation, we can look for the good and focus our attention there.
A wonderful example of this is my friend Nikki who has been struggling with a decline in her health over the last 6 years. I realize you may be scratching your head with bewilderment as to why I’d refer to my friend’s declining health as a wonderful thing, so let me clarify the wonderful thing she’s doing with her discovery. As her symptoms increased, she was desperately trying to figure out what the hell was happening with her body and without the help from the various doctor’s appointments she’s attended over the last year, she discovered through her own research that she is suffering from Breast Implant Illness. She has decided to take action and an explant surgery has been scheduled. Nikki is bravely taking action for others as well by sharing her story, the stories of others and articles on her Facebook page to raise awareness of this toxic and totally preventable illness. She has an amazing positive attitude regarding her return to health after her surgery and though the situation is very serious she’s finding her own way to bring levity to her life, “Moving forward, I’m gonna join the itty bitty titty committee😂explanting April 13th👍🏻💪🏻💞 thank you for your love and support.“
“The list of illnesses goes on unfortunately and there are many, including autoimmune diseases that have affected thousands and thousands of women… “YES there is proof and we’ve got it. Remove your hand from OUR mouth and let OUR VOICE speak out!”-Nikki Sattler💞
In the spirit of Apozitude, please take a moment to raise your awareness by reading Nikki’s story and consider supporting her cause. You may know someone who’s struggling in the dark with their health and this could be the light that sets them free. All positive energy and donations are greatly appreciated. I believe with Nikki that she will resume her healthy life because I see her positive attitude even during some of her toughest moments of dealing with the pain of Breast Implant Illness (BII). Nikki believes in her health despite what the medical professionals report and I support her in her efforts to raise awareness regarding the dangers of these toxic and horrible implants. Don’t get me wrong, I love 😍 boobs, just not toxic fake ones and not at the cost of my friends health or any other persons health for that matter.
Thank you for your following and sharing Apozitude.
Life is full of opportunities. The question is are we taking the time to slow that incessant stream of thoughts long enough to see these opportunities. I’ve found that setting aside a time of day to focus on my breathing and practice letting go of whatever pops up in my mind for only 10 minutes, creates space in my mind and allows me more time to BE present in my life. I know it sounds kind of crazy that taking time, makes more time, but if you think about it logically, it really does make sense. Taking 10 minutes a day to practice letting go of all your thoughts creates a clear and peaceful space in your mind for clarity and connection.
Think about your mind as a work space or a creative space, like a desk or table. Now, take all the thoughts flowing through your mind about what needs to be done, what you might have done wrong, how a conversation could have been handled better or how you were wronged by someone, your fears of what’s to come and the unknown, everything that contributes to the busyness of your mind right now, imagine it all sitting on the table in front of you, except these thoughts aren’t just sitting there, still like a stack of papers, each one of those disruptive thoughts is like one of those wind-up toys that hops around mindlessly meandering and bumping into each other.
OK, now picture yourself sitting there at that table with all of that going and imagine you’ve been presented with an opportunity to having a meaningful conversation with someone you love dearly and they’re sitting across from you at this table. Keep in mind, your loved one can’t see all those annoying little wind up toys (your thoughts) hopping around distracting you from what they’re sharing. It’s easy to see, given this example how these all these thoughts hopping all around can distract you from this opportunity you’ve been given to listen to your loved one and share a meaningful conversation. The really cool thing about this is you have a choice. You can sit there trying to listen with all of those distracting toys or thoughts hopping around or you can push all it all off the table or out of your mind and focus on your loved one. It seems a bit ridiculous at this point to ask, but which option do you think would increase your chances of successfully producing the desired result of having a meaningful conversation?
It’s easy to see, when the mind is clear, tasks are achieved more efficiently and in a manner creates more time. Investing 10 minutes each day to practice the art of letting go will create clarity of mind and deepen your life experiences. This clarity of mind will create space in your life to see those opportunities you may have been too distracted to observe in the past. You have the power. You have a choice.
I was asked to participate on Saturday March 4th and the project was explained to me as a movement that’s creating a culture of kindness, partnership, and trust. In an effort to do so, these cards were made to share with people to elevate their awesomeness by acknowledging the awesomeness within them. When I accepted the invitation to participate, I was asked how many cards I wanted. Without placing any pressure on myself I allowed a number to come to mind. 500. I asked for 500 cards. Perfect! Arrangements were made for the cards to be delivered to me on Thursday March 9th.
The Universal Law of Attraction indicates that you attract into your life whatever you focus on. So, according to this Law it totally makes sense that if you participate in a project called elevate awesome, more awesomeness will be attracted into your life, right? Well, I have living proof.
I was so excited to be apart of this project I wrote a blog about it on Sunday March 5th and scheduled it to post on Tuesday March 7th. However, I also announced in the Apozitude Newsletter that posts on Mondays that I’d be sharing a blog about the project on Tuesday. I sent a text message to my friend sharing a link to the blog letting her know I shared a link to her site within the blog. I shared in my excitement regarding my participation in her project in my newsletter as well. Guess what happened next!! She showed up at my office on Tuesday day morning with 500 of these #ilovehowawesomeyouare cards.
The coolest thing happened that day. I met a 15 year old transgender boy who just changed his name legally from female to male. I was so excited for him to be at this momentous point on his awesome and brave journey. I took the opportunity to share with him and his mom feelings I’ve had for a very long time and couldn’t quite figure out how to share. I still wonder, how do you go about sharing support of a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marked on their birth certificate and honoring their journey without drawing attention to them? I mean, I assume a person who lives a transgender experience wants nothing more than to blend into society as the gender they identify with internally, therefore what feels like a compliment or a form of support from me, may actually do the opposite by drawing attention to them. I still don’t know how to handle this in the future, but on this day it just felt right to congratulate him on his legal name.
Then it suddenly occurred to me, I have 500 #ilovehowawesomeyouare cards right here with me. I reached down, unwrapped one of the bundles and wrote a message of congratulations on the card and gave it to him. What better way to celebrate and elevate his awesomeness? I’m still beaming from the experience and that was only the first card I gave away. I decided to keep a miniature composition notebook with me as I hand out these cards, so I can keep track of who I give them to and to help me remember for the sharing aspect of the project. I’m also sharing pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #ilovehowawesomeyouare. My Instagram name is angel_apozitude if you’re interested in checking it out, but for now I close this blog with a feeling of expanded awesomeness and honor. See you in the real world. More on that subject later.
Life is so completely AHHH-MAZING!!!! I absolutely love how one beautiful thing leads to another beautiful thing. It would be impossible for me to share in one blog the vast number of miracles I’ve experienced in this one weekend alone. Therefore, I intend to get focused, share a miraculous aspect of my life within this blog in hopes that it will create a doorway for you into your miraculous life or allow you to see that you’re already living it and then I’ll continue writing more blogs.
Like I said before, one thing leads to another and not too long ago, I was made aware of an app called, Headspace, I heard about it from a co-worker in passing and then again, either on the radio or in social media. I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to it on the radio or in social media by its self, but because my interest had already been piqued by the brief conversation I had previously, I peered further down the rabbit hole. I have to admit I’ve always had an interest in meditation and have dabbled with various types of mediation through the years, but there was something to this Headspace.
The “10 minutes a day” aspect of it had a certain appeal, as it seemed easily digestible and therefore easier to incorporate into my life. I took the 10 day challenge, 10 minutes a day for 10 days. It took me 14 days to complete the 10 day challenge. Much like kindness, there is no judgement in meditation. My life is forever changed because of this app, because of the 10 day challenge, because I shared my journey on social media, because a friend shared her meditation journey with me on social media, because she recommended I watch a Netflix documentary, On Meditation, and because David Lynch was in that documentary a loop was closed for me and allowed it to be reopened.
Let me explain, You may or may not know this, but I have a Ganesha tattooed on my right shin, beginning at the base of my knee covering my entire shin down to bend where my foot begins. The reason I have this tattoo is because of a glimpse of clarity I gleaned from an issue of Yoga journal magazine I read several years ago. I recall two articles, one was on Ganesha, detailing the story of how the Hindu deity came to be known as “The Remover of Obstacles” and how to incorporate the chant “Om Gam Ganapataye” into your life. The chant loosely translates to “Om and Salutations to the remover of all obstacles in my life!” Which when you think about it, removing obstacles from our lives really is our purpose here. Ya know, to live life with joy and to help others. Isn’t it fascinating how all these minute pieces of life shape us into the person we allow ourselves to become?
The other article from the Yoga Journal was written by David Lynch who at that time totally eluded me and if you’ve ever watched a David Lynch movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen one of his movies, check any one of his movies (I’ve included the few I’ve seen below) and you’ll understand completely why he eluded me, which made his presence in Yoga Journal Magazine so fetching. Just like his movies, I can’t quite put my finger on what it was in his article that touched me like it did, but what I do recall is, the reading of his words created a transformational shift in me. He wrote about a knowing I had within me that I had forgotten and that is exactly what this documentary did for me on Sunday.
One line from the documentary that keeps running through my mind, “the simple act of checking a voice mail message will change your life forever” and you may not necessarily think of it that way, but it’s an absolute truth. Any single given experience or transfer of information, changes you from the person you were prior, to the person you become henceforth.
A glimpse of clarity.
All our lives, we’re being prepared for a moment when we’re ready to meet ourselves again. I’ve enjoyed this time with myself and I’m certain I’ll enjoy meeting myself again in the future.
Whoa! I just blew my own mind realizing I’m living my amazing life. Are you?
An ER doctor was so struck with grief over the loss of a young patient, he had to take some time to himself to process his emotions. Can you imagine having to return to the work of caring for people after dealing with this kind of stress? The reason I’m sharing this is to bring to light the fact that we never know what people are going through when we encounter them. Yes, this is an extreme example of the point I’m trying to make, but it’s absolutely true. You never know what people are dealing with when you first encounter them and it takes a bit of effort to consider what might be going on behind that clerks facade of a “customer service” smile, but sometimes people just need to be treated with compassion, like a real live person instead of just “the person who serves” you. In fact, I would go as far as to say people always need to be treated like people. Take time to consider what might be going on behind the scene.
Have you ever grown tired of being appreciated for what you do?
I can’t tell you how excited I am to report that I’ve been invited to participate in a community project. It’s so cool to me because when the project was described to me I thought, “That’s pretty much how I live my life”. It’s so cool to know there’s a group of people working on a project together that has a very similar mission as Apozitude. The realm of awareness is expanding and it’s an amazing thing.
When the project was explained to me it was clarified that I was being asked to participate because I’m a “love ambassador” and before I could even say thank you or ask for clarification regarding what this meant, it was explained that a love ambassador is a person who sees goodness is every person and actively discovers and acknowledges it. Wow! What an amazing compliment!!! I feel like this is the platform for my life, but for someone else to see this within me is so amazing to me. I’m so honored to be invited to participate and am super excited to share my experiences. Please check out the website to learn more. Feel free to inquire if you’re moved to participate and if you have questions, I’m happy to facilitate.
Let’s band together with our Apozitudes and Elevate Awesome!!!
“There is no “should” in kindness.” – Angel Zamudio.
Yes, that right. I quoted myself in my own blog. Please allow me to clarify. Should is a verb used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. Obligation is defined as an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment. Kindness is not an obligation. Kindness is a gift and is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate and further quality is defined as a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something. Therefore, stating oneself “should” be more kind is a contradictory statement.
Kindness is not an obligation. Kindness is an opportunity.
Every single person has a different gauge for every single thing they do and say. An act of kindness to one person is way out of someone else’s comfort zone. There’s no obligation in kindness. There’s no judgement in kindness. If you FEEL like being kind, follow your instinct. If you don’t feel it, don’t do it. Be kind, FIRST, to yourself. Live authentic to YOU and everything after that is pizza cake.