Conscious Inklings Blog. IDEAS, INSIGHTS & INK-SPIRATION. / intentions
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of balance. It’s one of those things that we often take for granted, like our health, but once we’re struggling to maintain it, its value becomes abundantly clear. Losing your balance physically can be an uncomfortable and even scary experience. One moment you might be standing with your feet planted firmly on the ground, but then the surface beneath you shifts, and your body must immediately respond in order to regain stability. Luckily, our bodies are built with systems that work automatically to maintain physical equilibrium. We don’t have to think about how to adjust when we feel ourselves becoming unsteady; our limbs simply move into place to attain balance once again. But, what happens when the loss of balance occurs on an emotional or spiritual level?
We can lose our emotional balance in a number of ways. Unexpected life events sometimes leave us feeling as if the ground beneath our feet has shifted or we dedicate too much of our time or energy to only one aspect of our lives. Over time, too much or not enough work, play, sleep, or food eventually take its toll on our wellbeing. Addictions, emotional struggles, and unfair expectations lead us to push the boundaries of what is healthy for ourselves, and we restrict, over-indulge, pressure, or neglect ourselves until we feel completely disconnected from our own centers. We suddenly find ourselves living lifestyles that aren’t sustainable, but how do we stop? How do we find the balance that we lost?
Any yogi can tell you that balance is a skill that must be practiced and honed. It is not a static state that will necessarily persist once attained, but requires constant maintenance. You might find your balance, then start to lose it, recalibrate, and find balance again only to feel it slip once more. While our physical response to losing balance is automatic, it is still an ability that can be refined and the same is true of our ability to maintain emotional balance. It is through the practice of staying present in each moment and staying connected to our inner truths that we build a deeper awareness of the unique set of factors that lead to a strong spiritual foundation in each of our lives. As we becomes more tuned in to our emotional states, we see more clearly the signs that let us know when we have pushed ourselves too far or have neglected something that is vital to our sense of wellbeing, and we give ourselves the opportunity to become experts in the never-ending art of creating balance.
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This is certainly not to say that their lives are perfect by any means, but that in the midst of even their most difficult times, they know that the moment will eventually pass, and they focus on looking for something positive in every moment, every interaction, every life experience that comes their way. They make it their mission to find joy, beauty, and love in everything around them.
So this is the part where I remind you that the title of this article is “The secret to life” not “ I have the secret to life”, because I certainly haven’t figured this one out, yet. Still, I have been very observant of those around me who seem to have the hang of it. I notice the ways that they breathe into the difficult moments, let go of the things that do not serve them, and move towards the experiences that make them feel blissfully alive, and I take very good notes. (Mostly, mentally though because it might creep my friends out a bit if I was following them around with a notepad and pen.)
I pay close attention as they handle the situations that arise in their own lives with a sense of acceptance and faith, compassion for themselves and others, and a joy that is not based in anything more than the simple joy of being alive and present for the moment at hand. I watch as they approach their experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to laugh at life’s ironies and at themselves. I watch and I remind myself that the secret to life is not a magic bullet that rushes in, but is, in fact, a practice. It is a conscious choice to set positive intentions for yourself and others every day. It involves a constant dedication to creating a life that is rich with positivity and love, and even though it may not make all of life’s difficulties disappear, it most certainly creates a new perspective in which every experience can be embraced as part of the simultaneously intricate and beautifully simple experience of a life well-lived.
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Mirror, mirror...what do you have to teach me?
We often hear that our world, and our relationships, mirror back to us how we're acting and behaving. Oftentimes, people think that this simply means what's being reflected back is our treatment of others…what some people think of as Karma, so to speak. While this may also be identified, this isn't the primary mechanism of how this "law" works.
With a deeper look, we see that our world, and relationships, actually reflect back HOW WE TREAT OURSELVES. So, if we don't value ourselves, the world reflects back situations where we won't feel valued. If we see ourselves as stupid, the world reflects back situations where we will feel stupid. If we run away from our emotions, this is the behavior we'll experience from others. Our thoughts, actions and behaviors are fueled by the beliefs we have about ourselves, and our world.
We actually create (subconsciously) a reality that brings forth situations that trigger the feelings we're used to having. Think about it. We end up feeling the same feelings over and over and over.
The people, situations, and scenery may be different, but the underlying storyline stays the same.
This may seem cruel and unusual karmic punishment. But, in truth, it's actually grace in action. This mechanism allows us to see vividly where our wounds and patterns are, where we're off the mark, where we're not in alignment with our true selves. It gives us the opportunity to learn, heal and make new choices that reflect the truth of who we really are.
So, if you're not sure of all the subtle, and not so subtle, ways you're treating yourself, and the beliefs you employ, just notice how the world is treating you. Then notice how you're treating yourself the exact same way. If you’d like to change these patterns, make a commitment to treat yourself in the way you'd like to be treated from the outside world.
Breathe. Be gentle. Have compassion for yourself. A lot of emotions may come up. Perfect. This will give you an opportunity to practice self love...the one and only, all-purpose healing elixir.
Founder, Conscious Ink
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.
Wouldn’t it be great to have something…a practice… that would help us in those out-of-control moments, when we’ve simply lost our center? Well, one way to keep our intentions top of mind is to also keep them “top of body” with a Manifestation Temporary Tattoo by Conscious Ink. It’s this precise purpose that life-coach founder Frank Gjata created these unique, unexpected, and effective tools.
With over 300 positive words, inspiring phrases, and empowering affirmations, it’s easy to find the perfect message to support you with whatever you’d like to manifest into your life.
Plus, these Conscious Ink Manifestation Temporary Tattoos can perform magic even if when you’re not consciously noticing the inspiring messages. According to Dr. Emoto & his groundbreaking research on water, even water molecules are affected by thoughts, words, and feelings. Since our bodies are 70% water, just imagine the influence that thoughts, words and feelings have on us!
So, there you have it, it’s time to get inked up for good! Log onto our online Conscious Ink Store and pick out the temporary tattoo that speaks to you... you might find that it’s the tattoo that picks you. (We think that’s a good thing.) Happy manifesting to you!
Gratitude is a tricky thing. It’s not necessarily something you can create or just conjure up out of nowhere. Doing something expecting gratitude rarely evokes the desired response and I’m sure that many of us have had the experience of struggling to find something to appreciate in a given moment. As a child and young adult, I often thought of gratitude as something that you express for the sake of someone else; I thought the whole point of expressing gratitude was to make someone else feel good or to be polite. I’ve realized, however, that, while it definitely feels good to know that you’re appreciated, the experience of really connecting with how much you value, appreciate, and are truly thankful for something in your life is an incredibly enriching experience on a personal level.
Gratitude has the capacity to inspire us to be more generous, to give us a new perspective on the world around us, and even to heal us. One of the beautiful things about gratitude is that there is an infinite number of things that can elicit it. We can feel gratitude for the people in our lives that have supported and guided us. We can feel appreciation for our health and for the luxuries that are so easily taken for granted every day: the food that nourishes us, the comforts of our homes, and the opportunities that we have been blessed with in our lives. Even simple things, like a smile from a stranger, a beautiful day, or the experience of feeling seen, acknowledged, or understood can fill us with so much gratitude.
Of course, there are times when it can be difficult to connect with that sense of thankfulness. When we find ourselves in circumstances that trigger fear, anger, or pain, it can often feel like there isn’t enough room for gratitude as well. Even in these moments though, if we can take a step back and just breathe into the difficult part of the situation, we can see that these experiences can be full of gifts as well. They provide us with the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to test and stretch the limits of what we believe we are capable of. It is often the very experience of struggle that helps us develop a greater capacity for humility and compassion. It is in these moments that we have the chance to fully explore what it means to be a human being with the myriad of sensations, emotions, and experiences that come along with it, and what can any one of us be more grateful for than that?
Conscious Ink Store
**Lots of GRATITUDE to Suzanne Campbell for the photos featured in this article**
I couldn’t have imagined anything worse. To never be able to share things with other people, to never be able to connect
with another person again was a completely horrifying idea. Without those things, I can’t imagine that life would hold anywhere near as much joy or laughter.
The funny thing is that the chance of there being a total apocalypse, while not completely impossible, is pretty unlikely, and it’s even more unlikely that if all human life suddenly ceased to exist, I would somehow be the only one to survive. So why, even after waking, did this dream send shivers of panic through me? Why did this dream continue to plague me night after night?
For much of my life, I have had a very hard time being alone. Growing up, it seemed I was always with other people, whether it was my sister or my friend next door. Even throughout college, I often slept over at friends’ houses because I never wanted to go home. I never wanted to be alone. I think, somewhere along the way, I developed this idea that if I was alone, I would feel lonely, and who wants to feel that?
In recent years though, various life circumstances have led me to spend a lot more time by myself and, quite unexpectedly, I have come to appreciate time spent in my own company. I actually can’t even remember the last time I had the apocalyptic nightmare and I think the reason is that I finally shone a light under the bed where the monster was supposed to be hiding and found that the fear was not based in anything true. Rather than finding loneliness in my time away from others, I found a greater sense of intimacy with myself, an ability to be more authentic, and a deeper sense of peace
but the way that I approach my time with others has changed as well. While I certainly still love to meet new people and to spend time with my friends and family, I don’t feel such a strong need to constantly surround myself with others. This allows me to be more thoughtful about the ways that I share my time with the people in my life and leads me to be so much more grateful for the moments I share with them, the learning that can come out of each experience, and the opportunities I have to share myself and my gifts with the people around me. I am more present for each moment, and as a result, the sense of connectedness I gain through these experiences is so much more profound.
Since I have started being alone more, the interactions I do have with other people seem to carry more weight, and I find that I am more aware of the ways I interact with people. The exchange with the person ringing me up in the store, making eye contact with someone I pass on the street, even conversations with people that I still speak to regularly, but much less frequently than I used to, become illuminated and I feel more attuned to the impact we have on each other and the importance of taking every opportunity to share positivity and love with others.
Another thing that I have become more attuned to is the way that loneliness does not really result from being away from others. Loneliness can strike whether you are living a solitary life on a mountaintop or spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week surrounded by people, because loneliness is not so much a result of being physically alone. Loneliness is the result of an emotional sense of being alone, a sense of disconnectedness, and the great thing about that is that is that it really is only a feeling. The truth
is that we are all connected in infinite ways. We are never truly alone, well, unless of course there actually is an apocalypse, but even then, we can connect with all the love
that we have shared, the memories of everyone who has touched our lives, and be filled up with the beauty and joy of these experiences. We always have that choice; so as long as we choose to stay conscious of that connectedness, there may be times in life where we find that we must be alone, loneliness is always optional.
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They were designed to help you connect with others, with yourself, and with a wondrous state of bliss and they are available in The Conscious Ink Store
The process of turning my attention to my communication habits allowed me to notice all sorts of patterns that I hadn’t really been aware of before. For example, I noticed that I frequently drift off mentally while in conversation with others. I start thinking about my day or my life and am no longer really tuned in to the person who is speaking to me. I also noticed that quite often when I am “listening”, I am actually just waiting for my turn to talk, and that when I talk, I am often doing so to fill empty space, to distract myself from uncomfortable feelings, or to seek validation.
All of these things are pretty normal, and I would guess that most of us find ourselves falling into these habits from time to time, but any time I notice a pattern in my life, I like to ask myself some questions. How is this pattern serving me? Is this a pattern that I want to continue? Or, is this a pattern that I learned long ago, but isn’t actually useful anymore?
The simple answer is that, while these patterns may have served me at one time, they no longer achieve the desired effect. The greatest part of communicating with others is the connection that comes from sharing experiences. If I am not actually being present with the person I am communicating with and really listening to what they have to say, then I am missing out on a lot of the gifts that they have to share with me. It is very comforting when friends are willing to be sounding boards as I try to sort through my thoughts and feelings, but talking endlessly about an issue until I sound like a broken record is really only a temporary distraction from actually dealing with whatever is troubling me and doesn’t honor my friends’ time or attention. Also, if I find myself continually seeking validation from others, and the need doesn’t seem to be getting adequately filled, perhaps it is a need that must be filled from within, from quieting my mind and really listening to myself. After all, that voice inside, the one that can so easily be muffled over with endless chatter and mental busy work, may be the most important voice to listen to of all and there is only one person who can actually hear it.
So, my commitment to try to be a better listener continues. I try to listen intently when people are speaking to me. I try to be more conscious of what I am saying and why, and I try to be quiet often enough to hear my inner voice, the greatest guide I have. Some days I find myself succeeding and other days I completely miss the mark, but all I can do is set my intention every day and know that, even if it is only inch by inch, I am moving decidedly in the right direction.
Conscious Ink tattoos were created to remind you to listen, be present, and be the very best you that you can be! Check out the temporary tattoos featured in this article and many more in the Conscious Ink Temporary Tattoo store!