Conscious Inklings Blog. IDEAS, INSIGHTS & INK-SPIRATION. / affirmations
I wanted to argue with her, to defend myself, and to tell her that you can’t just decide to forgive someone. I wanted to say that you have to truly feel forgiveness before you can bestow it upon someone else, and as much sometimes I wish I could, I can’t choose what to feel. Clearly, her comment had struck a nerve, and in my experience, that typically means that someone has shone a light on a truth that is difficult to face.
Since our conversation, I noticed that messages about forgiveness were popping up all around me, and once again, I knew that the universe was trying to show me the places inside of myself where I still had room to grow. If I am going to be really honest, I have not been very good at forgiving people. I have struggled with holding on to hurt and anger, and at points, have held grudges for very long periods of time.
I used to think of forgiveness as something that we do for someone else, to release another person from their guilt, but in recent years, I have had a new experience of forgiveness. I have had moments in which, quite spontaneously, I could feel myself releasing the hurt and anger that I had held onto from old, broken relationships. These moments left me humbled as I felt the heavy burden of carrying all of that negative energy lift, and this new sense of lightness led me to the realization that forgiveness is much more about the individual who is giving forgiveness than the one who is receiving it.
The actions of others that tend to hurt and anger us the most are usually the ones that reflect the parts of ourselves with which we struggle most intensely. The things that are the hardest to forgive are often the things that hit closest to home, the things that we too feel guilt around. Just like you have to truly love yourself before you can love another, you must also forgive yourself before you can forgive others, and the key that unlocks the door to forgiveness is compassion.
Jack Kornfield says that, “forgiveness simply means never putting another person out of your heart.” As we develop a deep sense of compassion for ourselves, we can extend that love and understanding to include those around us. While it may not be possible to simply choose to feel forgiveness toward someone, we can start with trying to understand that person. Even the tiniest spark of empathy can be fed and tended to until it builds into the full flame of compassion that allows us to release hurt and pain and to let go The temporary tattoos in the Conscious Ink Store were designed to promote personal growth and inspire people to live the most authentic, blissful lives they can imagine.
Everyday we claim our titles, our choices, our paths. Everyday we make 35,000 decisions -- choices that can seem as inconsequential as we choose to add an extra slice of tomato to our sandwiches or how we tie our shoelaces. But among those many decisions, those big and small choices, we also decide WHO AM I.
We choose to be compassionate or judgmental.
We choose to cling tight or surrender.
We choose to be kind or be cold.
These are choices we make as we drive down the street, see our coworkers in the hall, greet our families at the door or kiss our kids (or fur babies) goodnight. Our thoughts and actions shape who we are and who we are becoming. It is by living consciously, by intentionally choosing those thoughts and actions do we become radically empowered in creating the trajectory and momentum of our lives.
Conscious Ink was created to empower the world to own their truth. The manifestation tattoos are a simple tool of awareness and empowerment to serve our daily reawakening and our daily reminder to choose wisely.
How can you be GRACE today?
How can you be INSPIRATION today?
How can you be HOPE today?
How can you be HEALED today?
How can you be POWERFUL today?
First, you must look in the mirror and claim it.
Decide it. Declare it.
Look into your eyes and see the truth. Be witness to your great, glorious, sometimes messy, always evolving I AM.
We are honored to be choosing, growing, claiming, evolving with you.
“It looked like a death sentence,” says Collins King about the moment she got up at 3am to reflect on her cancer diagnosis. But fast forward nearly a decade and now she is celebrating 7 years cancer-free! “I'll be 7 years out in November 2017 for Triple Negative Breast can-sur. I don't even spell it out and give it merit.“
But after chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, at 53, Collins started having body issues. Then Collins saw Conscious Ink tattoos pop up in her Facebook newsfeed. Collins had decided to start a workout regiment. She wanted something positive on her skin that was visible to keep her on track, keep her positive and so she began wearing a Manifestation Tattoo on her right wrist every day before a workout.
These were the words that she wore to remind her of her own strength. “Every time I look down at that tattoo, I am reminded that I can begin again.”
Collins can’t have tattoos (needles) in her arm and these tattoos allowed her the beauty and purpose of a tattoo without the actual ink, needles or permanence.
“I love wearing them and when my friends ask, ‘did you get ink?’ I say ‘temporary on the skin, indelible on the soul’ to them.”
In the end, it comes down to the words we choose for ourselves.
Collins says that if she could leave a single message to the world, it would be:
“Life is a Journey, not a destination. Go with God. Oh,and of course cancer sucks!”
Have you struggled with an illness? How did you overcome it? What mantra would you claim (or have you claimed) for strength for the journey?
Share your story of healing with our Conscious Ink family. Our collective stories are powerful when we allow them to rise.
Stacey Lorin Merkl, Founder & Executive Director of Realize Your Beauty, reached out to Conscious Ink for her nonprofit’s New York City event when she realized that her own mission and that of Conscious Ink were perfectly aligned. “Realize Your Beauty is all about youth empowerment and Conscious Ink is all about empowering people with their tattoos. The messages of positivity, working to empower others, and helping them to believe in themselves - though we do this work in very different ways, at the end of the day, we have that strong commonality.” The event was a wonderful success and as the pictures poured in, we knew we had to feature Stacey, her organization, this event and her mission. This is her story of outreach and impact.
At a young age, I fell in love with theatre arts, and I knew that in some capacity they would be a part of my professional life. When I was about 14 yrs old, I had a mentor who used theater/music as a means to help those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. When I was 15, I began performing with his organization, helping with the fundraisers, and so on. It was this experience that taught me I could use what skills I had in theater arts as a means to help others. For me, that realization changed everything.
After years of struggling with my own serious body image and eating disorder issues, it became clear to me that I wanted to spend my life empowering young people to feel good about themselves, to see their value and truly to understand their worth. With my background and skill set, using theatre as a means for social change was the natural path for me. For all these reasons, in 2010, I founded the non-profit organization, Realize Your Beauty, with the mission of promoting positive body image and eating disorder awareness to children and adolescents through theatre arts.
Conscious Ink so generously sponsored our annual event, Realize Your Beauty Day, which is an International celebration of inner-beauty, kindness and self-esteem: a day to celebrate what makes you uniquely beautiful. Conscious Ink sponsored our NYC Celebration, which was the main event for the organization. The event was so much more than what we could have hoped for! We had people of all ages in attendance: high school groups, parents and grandparents with young children, Girl Scout Troops - everyone was smiling and enjoying the activities! We had jewelry making, face-painting, a juggler, live music, live theatre performances, crafts, activities, and even a ‘Tattoo Parlor’ (sponsored by Conscious Ink!). All of the activities had a common theme: inner-beauty and kindness. The space was very generously sponsored by BALANCE Eating Disorder Treatment Center, and we were so lucky to have Denise Bidot (Plus Sized Model, Activist and Founder of No Wrong Way Movement) as our Guest Speaker. Everyone was so supportive and engaged with the presentation, and Denise Bidot gave a wonderful speech. It really helped the whole day come together, and reinforced the message behind the day: a day to celebrate what makes you uniquely you!
If I could tell the world one thing, it would be that we are the most beautiful when we are the most ourselves. Be yourself, let yourself just…be you. You bring something to this world that nobody else can, because there is nobody in this world just like you. That seems so overly simple and maybe even trite- but it’s the truth. We all have different life experiences, along with our natural personalities and strengths, that combine to make us unique individuals. And we all have something positive we can share and contribute to this world – and the word desperately needs more positive contributions! The beautiful thing is that the more you’re able to love and embrace who you are, the more you’re able to love and embrace others.
Conscious Ink was honored to contribute to the Realize Your Beauty event. When Frank Gjata founded Conscious Ink, he wanted the simplicity of a Manifestation Tattoo to have lasting impact by using the power of words as a regular reminder of our power. Stacey shared her own thoughts on the power of words and they perfectly reflect the heart of Conscious Ink: “I think many people underestimate the power of their words. Words inspire us, they influence us, they help to shape the way we think. A positive mantra can have a very powerful effect on our day to day lives, by helping and teaching our brains to think of things in a positive way. Words have power, and the way we speak to ourselves on a day to day basis has a very strong impact on how we feel about ourselves. It’s time to learn to speak to ourselves with words of love, respect and kindness, and a positive mantra is a great place to start.”
Life is this moment now. In this instance, I get in my car and drive. One freeway to the next, along the ocean, and I can feel the mountain calling me, inviting me in. I am carrying the burdens of a modern life. My body is tense, my mind races, and I am restless, agitated. I go to the mountain, because like a mother, she is soothing, unconditionally loving. She is always there, ready to accept me with open arms, and as soon as I am near, I can already feel my body relaxing, my thoughts slowing down.
I take the path I usually take but I start from the opposite end and the change in direction makes everything new. The same trees, rocks, and grooves in the trail that I have always noticed look completely different and I am reminded of how the smallest shift can completely change my perspective. The mountain is my teacher, and even though I have walked these trails a million times, there is always something new to learn. I learn my strengths and weaknesses. I learn what I am capable of. I learn the truths that emanate from every living thing around me.
There is no past, no future. Life is this moment now. One foot in front of the other, just breathe, enjoy the scenery, let the light nourish me, and let the silence unveil the knowledge that I carry deep inside me; I live in a generous universe. I have everything I need right here. All supports me. I am loved. I am enough. I am more than enough. I am part of this magnificent creation.
As I walk and run along the paths, I can feel that I am connected to everything around me. I make it to the top, but it is not a finish line. There are many hills and valleys along the way and every part of the journey has something to offer me if I am open and willing to receive the gifts that are present in every moment. Blue dragonflies and grey brown lizards dance and scamper around me, and all is well in my world. I let go of the last drops of negative energy. I let them seep right out of my pores and I feel lighter, freer. I am at peace, full of joy. Every cell in body is in perfect order.
The temporary tattoos featured in this article are available at The Conscious Ink Store!
Conscious Ink tattoos are designed to foster growth, love, and a blissfully authentic life.
*Special thanks to the photographer, Suzanne Campbell
Someone asked me recently what my greatest accomplishment was, and to be honest, I was completely stumped. I thought about my life and surveyed my experiences trying to determine what I was most proud of. As I tried to think of all of the things I had achieved in my life, I realized that what I was most proud of was not something I had done so much as it was who I had become.
For so much of my life, I lived in a place of self-doubt and self-criticism. I was so quick to ask myself “what if I can’t?” or “what if I fail?” I chose the paths that seemed to pose the least amount of risk; but by playing it safe, I was depriving myself of opportunities for true growth and ignoring the voice deep inside of me that was beckoning me to follow my heart, to pursue the things that made me feel most alive, and to create the life that I dreamt of.
Over time, I realized that telling myself that my dreams were too big and settling for a life that seemed "good enough" was not a path to happiness. I realized that, in order to find true fulfillment, I needed to be the architect of my own world, to develop my own unique vision of a full and happy life, and then work to create that every day. But before I could create the life that I wanted, I needed to do some internal spring-cleaning and clear out the clutter that had accumulated in my life. I needed to let go of the fear, the self-doubt, and the beliefs that were holding me back from living my bliss.
It is a never-ending process, and it requires a consistent, conscious effort, but as I began to clear away the thoughts and behaviors that were no longer serving me, I was surprised by the things that I found, things that were always there but had been buried under all of the negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. I found courage, not as something that magically appears out of nowhere, but as something that can be practiced and developed. I found faith, as I surrendered myself to a life of authenticity. The "what if"s no longer held so much weight as I found that choosing the things that feel right and true for me at my core will always lead me to where I should be. And as I began to make authenticity a way of life, I found a kind of happiness that I had never known before--a happiness that radiates from deep within me, one that doesn’t hinge upon the opinions of others or things going my way or measurable forms of success. The happiness that I found was the joyful experience of truly being myself and its has impacted my life in so many ways.
I am now more present, every day. I work harder at everything I do because I own the choices I make and choose to do the things that nourish my soul. I try to embrace every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow, and I bring more positivity into my relationships and the world around me because I have discovered a powerful source of love and light inside of myself, and I am absolutely certain that there is no accomplishment that could be greater than that.
“Whomever you truly are... honor that person. No dream was ever realized by disappearing into the shadows of self-deceit and doubt.” - Jaeda DeWalt
Conscious Ink temporary tattoos were created to help you heal, let go, and grow! Check out our inspiring and affirming body art in Conscious Ink Temporary Tattoos.
Welcome to Conscious Inklings—the official blog for Conscious Ink! The team at Conscious Ink is so excited that so many people have come to know and love our unique body art and our company’s mission to spread inspiration, love, and growth. Conscious Inklings will provide our customers and supporters another way to stay connected to the positive messages of Conscious Ink, and we will feature articles aimed at inspiring, encouraging, and promoting greater awareness, as well as news about what is going on in the wonderful world of Conscious Ink.
For those of you who haven’t already heard, Conscious Ink is an innovative company that creates unique temporary tattoos and greeting cards that bear empowering messages and positive affirmations, however Conscious Ink is so much more than just a tattoo and card company. It is a manifestation of one man’s mission to touch the lives of others.
Frank Gjata has many passions, and the thread that connects all of his endeavors is a genuine desire to encourage the growth of others and to support people on their paths to becoming the most authentic, aware, and blissful versions of themselves possible. It was out of this desire that Conscious Ink was born.
Like most truly inspired ideas, this one struck quite unexpectedly when Frank’s daughter, Eve, came home from a birthday party one day with some temporary tattoos. It occurred to Frank that these very simple little pieces of body art could be an incredibly effective medium to positively impact people’s lives on a daily basis through the power of intention. Research has demonstrated the ability of conscious intention to affect change at the microscopic level of matter, creating waves of impact in our lives. What we believe, hope for, and desire, truly does affect the world around us!
Frank envisioned temporary tattoos that were fun fashion statements and powerful tools to help people set and stay connected to positive intentions in their daily lives. The practice of selecting a Conscious Ink tattoo that has a personal significance or meaning and applying that message to your body creates a ritual around setting positive intentions. You may choose to wear your Conscious Ink tattoos somewhere very visible so that you can share your intentions with others, or you might want to wear them “secretly” as a personal reminder of an intention you have set for yourself. Regardless of how you choose to wear them, the messages we share with Conscious Ink tattoos are “temporary on the skin, indelible on the soul”.
Each Conscious Ink tattoo is designed to promote empowerment and healing with great care put into every detail from the meaning of the words to the aesthetics of the script and color choices. Conscious Ink tattoos are also produced with the utmost consideration of global sustainability and socially conscious business practices. We do our best to ensure that our products and methods are as “green” as possible and we are constantly striving to find ways to make Conscious Ink a company that truly lives up to its name.
We hope you will join us as we continually put forth our conscious intention to create positive change throughout the world and we will look forward to all of the exciting and wonderful things that are sure to come!