Your task, as a human being, is not self-augmentation, but self-discovery. Look at yourself with curiosity. Let yourself explore your interests. Delve into your talents. Face your fears. Accept your faults, and give yourself unconditional love.Vironika Tugaleva
I have a lot of fears, fear of deep water (where I can’t touch the bottom), fear of falling, fear of being alone, fear of big dogs, fear of time getting away from me, fear of criticisms, and so forth. If you have been following my blog you would notice that I still participated in activities that involve those fears. I would push myself and tell myself that ‘I can do it’ while I was white-water rafting or scuba diving or doing anything that I was afraid of. I had fun but I’m not sure if I was enjoying myself though. There was always a voice in my head that said ‘get out of there’. Last weekend, I confronted my fear of swimming in deep water head-on. I took a special swimming class and had a totally different view of the water. I still have a long way to go but for the first time in my life, I know that I am in control and I was able to have fun and enjoy myself swimming in deep water. The biggest take away so far from the class is to live in the present. This means when I am in the water, I feel everything at that exact moment and not let my mind wander off to something else. I feel the water lifting me, I feel the tension in my neck, I feel my arms and my legs floating in the water at that very moment. Often times when we are in unfamiliar or fearful situations, our minds wander to past events masking the present. Our minds and bodies are not in the same place and we lose control. I found an interesting article that explains the present concept and mindfulness here. I am hopeful that with my newfound knowledge, I can overcome my fears and practice living in the present; and explore all the new sensations by being more aware of my feelings.
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellnessAbraham Maslow
The idea of writing had always been in my mind but I did not do anything about it because I was afraid of failing and being laughed at, even though I thought it would be fun to have my own blog. Writing does not come easy for me, let alone in English since it is not my first language. Sharing it in a blog means I’m opening up my vulnerabilities and flaws to the world to see, and I must learn to accept criticisms. I could not remember what propelled me to start the blog at that moment three years ago but I am grateful that I did. It had become a crucial part of my mental well being. I have also been thinking a lot about the direction of my blog and what my intention was for writing. Over the years, so much has changed within myself and what I want to share seem to be transformed with that. In my early research about blogging, most recommendations or suggestions revolve around having a solid niche for your blog, getting a big audience, increasing and keeping followers, likes and comments, and be an influencer! Yes, those all are true and sound like good bits of advice. I won’t lie, getting new followers and likes definitely bring excitement to my blogging ‘career’. But, was that my intention? What am I sharing that is different than everybody else? Am I just following the social media craze? Ultimately all I want to do is to have a way for me to preserve and document my thoughts and my journeys in life and share my discoveries with others. You might also say it’s a journal and I can always look back to seek reminders and keep myself accountable to my goals. The tagline for my blog ‘Explore, Enjoy, Experience’ is truly the direction I’m heading. I am constantly exploring what the world has to offer and my inner identity, enjoying and experience all the unique moments along the way. With this mission in tow, I revamped my website and updated some posts. Reading through my own posts again from the beginning rekindled the sparks and excitement that I felt when I wrote my first post three years ago. There is no niche in my blog, it is purely a personal blog, a place for me to open up my journeys, offer tips and inspirations for you to create your own experiences, and sometimes I may even rant (just a tiny bit)! Here’s a glimpse of my recent moments. As you can see, all of my fun times are outdoors. I enjoy the openness of the outdoors and especially on the mountains. Breathing in the mountain air often gives me a sense of serenity and calmness. I am truly present to feel every inch of my muscles aching and my knees screaming; and yet it’s the place where I can clear my head, regroup and recharge. It’s my happy place! By the way, one of my goals is to be able to jump in and swim in the lake in that last picture; and I am well on my way!
Are you focusing on the present? What are your fears or worries? Are they stopping you from doing something fun? Here’s a quick guide from Mindful.org if you are interested in starting the practice of mindfulness and living in the moment.