Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

Add Best-Selling Starter Kit (Save 36%)!
FREE SHIPPING $40+/USD (US/CA)

Conscious Inklings Blog. IDEAS, INSIGHTS & INK-SPIRATION.

Rising Up After Life Knocks You Down.

Rising Up After Life Knocks You Down.

"When we are knocked down, we must pick ourselves up as quickly as we can and get on with the business of saving our lives before life dribbles away. When this happens, we should recognize and acknowledge that we have been wounded, but we should learn also to cauterize our wounds, to sear them shut until we have the luxury of time and the strength of heart to revisit and unseal them for examination. Our spirit and soul can drain through our wounds, if we allow." --Maya Angelou 

Our spirit and soul can drain through our wounds, if we allow...Just let that sink in for a minute. 

If we wallow for too long in self-pity, we lose sight of who we are. The tiny joys of everyday life get lost in the roar of what’s been done to us. Woe fogs the lenses we view life through, making it easy to forget that adversity is the pressure that transmutes a lump of coal into a diamond. 

Having struggled with social anxiety for much of my life, I am no stranger to self-pity. I spend a lot of time stuck in the throes of anxiety and tumbling beneath the inevitable wave of shame that follows awkward social interactions.

Living and people-ing go hand in hand--you can’t get through life, let alone a day, without having to interact with others to meet basic survival needs. There was a time where my social anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t get through a job interview without having a panic attack.

Being able to live a relatively normal life has required me to bounce from one anxiety-inducing situation to the next--to consistently rise above fears and insecurities that could shrink my world, if I allowed them to.

Many of us forget that heroes are not born heroes, they are made heroes by the hardships they overcome. Likewise, the more despicable the opponent, the greater the hero. This is true in the fictional heroes we are all familiar with and with the real life heroes that have made tremendous contributions to the world.

It was the sudden loss of his parents that transformed Bruce Wayne into Batman, a hero driven by a strong moral compass and desire for justice; a debilitating illness gave way to the poignancy of Frida Kahlo’s paintings; and silence sparked by abuse brewed a lifetime of brilliant poetry for Maya Angelou.

If we fail to get back up and cauterize our wounds, we risk bleeding out on the field and thus missing the transformation that evolves from tragedy. With time, if we give it time, we will grow stronger at our weak points. Broken skin gives way to callouses that remind us what we have endured and prime us for a future bolder than the past. 

The key here is to get up after being struck down--to remember what we are fighting for and guard what is true to us with everything we have. 

Amanda,

Conscious Ink Staffer 

Amanda Brown is a wellness blogger and a member of the Conscious Ink Team at our home office in Bend, OR. She is a lover of tea, memoirs and good TV. For more of her work, you can head over to her blog at www.liminalwellness.com.
Read more
The Secret to Life

The Secret to Life

Have you ever known someone who appeared to have the secret to life?  Someone who inspires you on a daily basis to be a better you just by being, well, them? I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of these people in my life and I have always been amazed by the way they seem to never really struggle too much with anything.  While it’s possible that these people are just really lucky and never have anything negative happen in their life (okay, actually not possible), it seems to me that somehow they have managed to figure out how to respond to whatever comes their way with an incredibly grounded sense of peace and acceptance.

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.
Set positive intentions for yourself daily with Conscious Ink temporary tattoos. Our tattoos were designed to help you find joy, beauty, and love in every moment and are available in The Conscious Ink Store
Read more
Embracing Our Differences

Embracing Our Differences

Variety of thought is the spice of humanity.
Read more
Wu Wei

Wu Wei

Why Force It? What The Taoist Principle of Wu Wei Can Teach Us About Life.
 
As much as we try to, we simply can’t will everything into existence. Flights are delayed last minute, kids get sick, thunder lurks beneath even the brightest horizons. Sometimes things will not mold the way we sculpt them. And the solution isn’t to push down harder with the chisel--misdirected force is how we break things that did not need fixing in the first place. What if instead, we put down the chisel and worked with the clay rather than against it?

The Taoist philosophy of wu wei, which translates to “non-doing” or “non-action”, offers an alternative approach. While wu wei translates to doing nothing, it doesn’t mean to literally do nothing. Instead it describes flowing with the current of life, rather than against it.

Wu wei is coasting along a beach path on a summer night, warm air brushing against your cheeks reminding you that life is golden. In this state of flow nothing exists except you and whatever you are doing in that moment. There is no struggle or excessive effort and things just seem to work.

Action taken from this place isn’t forced. It’s those trips that plan themselves, the dinners with family where everyone gets along, that point during a run where the right song comes on and carries you through the rest of the trail. The common denominator is that when acting from this state, all of the pieces seem to fall together effortlessly. We are moving through the motions required to carry out a task, but it’s not an uphill drudgery kind of movement. The outcome of every action we put forth is multiplied, gaining momentum like a snowball expanding as it rolls downhill.

How can we incorporate more wu wei into our lives? For one, we can strike while the iron is hot, i.e act right away when we feel the inclination to do something, thus riding on the sails of inspiration. Another option is to create space for flow each day. This can be setting aside an hour to paint, run, journal, read, etc.. before we go into the to-dos of the day.  An hour spent engrossed in something you love infuses every other area of your life with that same sense of ease and childlike joy. Work projects flow better, patience is easier to find, we stop taking ourselves so seriously and overall are more pleasant to be around.

Wu wei disrupts the chorus of the mind and allows us fall in sync with a universal rhythm that unites all living things. The same force that drives the geese down south each winter spurs our inclinations to pick up an activity and lose track of the hours. Losing time is a sign that your inner compass is working. When this is what guides you, no force is necessary.

Amanda,

Conscious Ink Staffer 

Amanda Brown is a wellness blogger and a member of the Conscious Ink Team at our home office in Bend, OR. She is passionate about helping people find peace with where they are at while pursuing their best, most fulfilling lives. For more of her work, you can head over to her blog at www.liminalwellness.com.

Read more
We Are Humans First.

We Are Humans First.

In today’s world, we are witnessing a mental health crisis in full effect.

Far too many have suffered in silence for fear of the shame and judgement surrounding this issue. Teen suicide alone increased 250% in October 2020 from the previous October, and nearly 26 million American are experiencing mental illness and going untreated. In many aspects of life, vulnerability is still labeled as a weakness, and needing help seen as an Achilles heel. And as we have seen in recent years, and most notably perhaps this year, athletes have not been immune to this crisis.

Watching the judgement and shame surrounding the actions of the likes of Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Naomi Osaka...if you are like us...brings a physical wrenching reaction. It’s extremely hard to stand by and witness people cast such judgment on these athletes when all they are saying is, “I’m out of balance, I am not well, I may need help, and I need to take time for self-care”. After all they have put in... after all the work…how can we possibly be upset with that? How can anyone possibly feel as though a title, a medal, notoriety, national pride, etc. supersedes well-being? Where is the empathy and compassion for our fellow human? 

Can you remember an experience in your own personal life, on an occasion where you were under extreme pressure to push yourself past the point of what’s best for your personal well-being for the sake of a business deal, or presentation, etc.? These experiences can be excruciating mentally and physically and place our bodies into a state of dis-ease, and it is not acceptable. At no time in our human journeys, should the athlete, the teacher, the salesperson, the welder, the CEO, come before the human. We are humans first. 

Now more than ever, mental health must be prioritized, and the conversation surrounding it normalized. We need open and honest discussion about it at the dinner table and we need open and honest discussion in the locker room. It needs to be openly discussed in the office, and it needs to be openly discussed on that car ride home. Vulnerability should be seen as courage, and putting one’s wellbeing first, as the new cool. We need to LISTEN to our bodies when its telling  us it's too much and we need to LISTEN to others when they are doing the same. This is how we begin to reverse this crisis and move towards a more balanced and healthy world that we are leaving to our children.

Our hats go off to these athletes who are taking a stand and using their platform to bring awareness and change to this very real and prevalent issue we are all touched by. Let's all commit to putting our well-being first, support and empathize with those doing the same, and be the change in humanity we wish to see.

We are ALL humans first.

 

"We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we're human, too," said Simone Biles. 

 

Written by Amanda Brown, a Conscious Ink staffer who was a Division I tennis player, playing the sport for over 25 years.

Read more
How our outer world reflects our inner world...literally.

How our outer world reflects our inner world...literally.

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.

Frank Gjata,

Founder, Conscious Ink

Read more
The Myth Of Perfection

The Myth Of Perfection

Perfection is a lie and most of us are aware of this. But somehow this knowledge doesn't prevent us from hanging this ideal of perfection over our shoulders and criticizing ourselves for falling short of our expectations time and time again. 

Not only is perfection a lie but it is also a dream killer. How many of us have subdued our grandest visions due to the crippling fear of trying and not being good enough-- of failing to meet our own expectations? More often than not, the death of the dreams dwelling within us occurs with the subtlety of a prolonged suffocation as we continuously put off our aspirations for a more convenient time. 

Nothing, nothing, will ever be perfect. There is no perfect time to have a child, to start a business, to get in shape or do whatever it is that speaks to us. Many of us will die with unchecked items on a to-do list. And this is okay, because life is not about checking items off of a to-do list--endlessly chasing down this illusion of perfection to gain a sense of fulfillment. True lasting fulfillment comes from living in alignment with who we really are and letting love guide us every step of the way. 

So, what if we did ourselves a favor and let go of the need for everything to be perfect to start living life as our truest, most authentic selves? Rather than fighting to gain control over the chaos in our lives, maybe we would learn to embrace the chaos and revel in the perfect imperfectness of it all. 

Amanda,

Conscious Ink Staffer 

Amanda Brown is a wellness blogger and a member of the Conscious Ink Team at our home office in Bend, OR. She is passionate about helping people find peace with where they are at while pursuing their best, most fulfilling lives. For more of her work, you can head over to her blog at www.liminalwellness.com.

Read more
Embracing softness in the face of adversity.

Embracing softness in the face of adversity.

Many of us tense against the adversities blowing us off our planned trajectories—the flat tires, the breakups, the diagnoses that come out of nowhere and thwart the best laid plans. We resist these things until we have no other choice but to stare down the barrel confronting us. This is our way of protecting ourselves, creating a shield between our most tender selves and the outside world.

We all come into life the same way, soft, open to the wonders of the world. With time we accumulate a potpourri of wounds that make us move through life more cautious than before, aware of the pain that can come of leading with an open heart. 

This instinct, while being an effective way to protect ourselves from pain, also hinders vulnerability. Vulnerability is the hub of a buoyant, connected, fully expressed life. In the words of Brenè Brown: 

"Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for our worthiness, but it appears that it's also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love."

Everything out there that poses a threat to the protective wall we've enshrouded ourselves with is the wind whipping through a lake, sending currents through an otherwise still body of water. Humans resent the wind, we resent anything that threatens our illusion of control over circumstances that are clearly beyond our reach, anything that exposes us as something other than the stoic facades we present with. 

What if instead of hardening to our circumstances, we softened, letting ourselves bob and weave with the wind? Folded into the most raucous of storms is an opportunity for connection, expansion, wisdom. When we soften, we are more receptive to the lessons that these experiences have to offer us. We emerge from adversity with an ability to both handle more than we thought we were capable of and to empathize with others who are navigating tough times of their own.

The things we do in an attempt to gain a sense of control over the uncontrollable keep us hard. Leading with vulnerability is surrendering to life in all of its blustery excellence. Showing up when we can't control the outcome. Reaching out when our efforts may not be returned. Bowing to the storm when we might be swept away. 

 Amanda,

Conscious Ink Staffer 

Amanda Brown is a wellness blogger and a member of the Conscious Ink Team at our home office in Bend, OR. She is passionate about helping people find peace with where they are at while pursuing their best, most fulfilling lives. For more of her work, you can head over to her blog at www.liminalwellness.com.

 

Read more
Unlocking the Door to Forgiveness

Unlocking the Door to Forgiveness

I was having a conversation with a family friend recently and the topic shifted to the importance of forgiveness.  My conversation partner mentioned that she felt like she was pretty good at forgiving people and I responded by telling her that I forgive, but that first I need a resolution.  She very quickly pointed out that that was not, in fact, forgiveness because forgiveness is not conditional.  When she said this, I had an immediate physical reaction.

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.
Read more
Rebecca's Story

Rebecca's Story

People are always telling us how much they love sporting our fun, inspiring, and provocative body art, and it is always such a gift to hear that people enjoy our tattoos as much as we do!
Read more
Flights Departing. Please Check Emotional Baggage.

Flights Departing. Please Check Emotional Baggage.

More often than not the reason why new things aren't coming in is because there isn't room for them. In order to expand in new directions, we first need to release the baggage of the past. The departure into new beginnings is a one-way flight, no carry-ons accepted. Holding on to the past only slows down our trajectory.

Excess baggage isn't always obvious. It can show up in subtle ways. Perhaps it's the old pictures on your Facebook feed that are out of alignment with your present-day self, yet you can't bring yourself to delete them, because they send you down nostalgia lane. We have to shine our flashlights into the crevices of our psyches to reveal the things we are holding on to that no longer serve us. 

What can we do about this incredibly human urge to hoard every morsel from the past and resist change like the plague? Awareness of this tendency is step one. 

Notice what areas in your life feel heavy. How might you be holding onto excess mental, emotional, and/or physical baggage in these areas? What purpose does this baggage serve? Everything we hold onto serves a purpose of some sort.

The boxes of old belongings gathering dust in the garage, for instance, may help us feel connected to a time that has long since passed. Holding onto these things, as comforting as they may be, blocks the entryway for new things to emerge. Clearing out those boxes could create space to turn the garage into an art room or a home gym.

We don't have to leave everything behind when setting out on a new trajectory. Maybe there are some old pictures tucked away in those boxes that bring back good memories. Repurpose the stuff that serves you. Frame those pictures and hang them up in your living room. The important thing is that the relics we hang onto compliment our ever-evolving lives, opposed to weighing us down. 

Amanda,

Conscious Ink Staffer 

Amanda Brown is a wellness blogger and a member of the Conscious Ink Team at our home office in Bend, OR. She is passionate about helping people find peace with where they are at while pursuing their best, most fulfilling lives. For more of her work, you can head over to her blog at www.liminalwellness.com.

Read more
"Go Ahead. Talk To Your Self... Your Higher Self. (You're Always There, Waiting.)"

"Go Ahead. Talk To Your Self... Your Higher Self. (You're Always There, Waiting.)"

According to the law of thermodynamics (fancy, right?), energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred or changed from one form to another. One interpretation of how energy cannot be destroyed is why we feel so moved in the presence of art, like a beautiful painting, or exquisite architecture. The energy…this “essence" energy…from which the beautiful art was created...is still in it, no matter if 100 or 500 years have passed!

Okay, fine, crazy science boy, but what does this law of thermodynamics have to do with Conscious Ink?

Fair question, fair maiden, or sire. So here’s the answer: The energy…your essence energy…that is present when you create an intention, or make a commitment, cannot be destroyed either. It can be forgotten, but not destroyed. This is why creating an intention, or making a commitment, along with applying your Manifestation Tattoo, is so important, and why it’s such an integral part of manifesting in general.

When you make a commitment, as outlined in the “instructions” that come with every Manifestation Tattoo, you activate your energy of desire. And it’s ALIVE. ALIVE, I say! Now every time you see your ink, you not only get reminded of your commitment in a linear five-senses-sort-of-way, you actually connect to...and can feel...the energy from the time when you created the commitment...similar to the example of when an artist creates his art…this high energy is in there!

When you make an intention, or create a commitment, toward something you truly desire, you typically are in a high state of being, your “essence” state, if you will. And when you fall into an old subconscious pattern, or a self defeating thought or behavior, you become “disconnected” from your essence state. But when you connect back to your intention/commitment (via your Conscious Ink, in this case), you also automatically connect back to the presence of your highest self.

Just like that, whamo!

This is the “invisible", and perhaps the  biggest, reason why these Manifestation Tattoos are so powerful, and why many have made mind-boggling shifts.

It’s really you, your highest self at work. Good work higher selves!

So, say it with me now, “Thank you law of thermodynamics.”

Cheers to you, and to your next manifestations!

Frank Gjata

Founder, Conscious Ink

Read more
134 results
00:00 00:00
.