June Reflections

The month of June has been extremely exciting, frustrating, stressful, kind, postive, and incredible all at the same time. It is safe to say that is has been a very emotional month for me, full of more incredible memories than bad memories.

I am still continuing to learn, grow, and mature, as the days come to me. I am still making mistakes, though…I am still a human being, and unfortunately, I make plenty of mistakes.
But, what can I say? I am still young and still have a handful of mistakes to continue making.

This month was a month full of growth, re-discovery, discovery, panic, anger, happiness, emotions, and self-awareness.
The stress and the heat of the Summer was beginning to get to me by the middle of the month, as I realized that time was continuing to fly, with or without my consent. As a result, all the things that I had continued to procrastinate still were left undone and unresolved, leaving me in a state of panic.
At the same time that the stress was hitting me, my urge to spend every waking minute outside, playing and enjoying the Sun, began emerging, with or without my consent. I found myself constantly wanting to enjoy my days, doing only things that I wanted to, not necessarily the things that I had to do, which only intensified my stress, as I often ended up choosing to enjoy my life.

I spent a lot of time this month focusing on having fun, or engaging in fun activities that I have always wanted to do, instead of constantly punishing myself for not working hard enough.

I can say with affirmation that I was much kinder to myself this month than I have been in a few years.
I am not ashamed to say that I do not regret any ounce of fun that I engaged in over the course of the last month, and I would not ever take it back.

I spent a lot more time outside, hanging out with friends, doing activities that I love, and learning to relax.
It was much more difficult than one would imagine.

Re-learning to relax, or to let myself relax and breathe, was extremely difficult.
In your head, it is quite simple, as breathing is one of those innate skills that should not take much energy, or stress, to execute. Unforunately, I completely forgot how to execute relaxing  and breathing recently, and re-learning to do something that I have not practiced in a while was difficult.

I am extremely proud of myself for allowing myself to get out of my own head, and finally allowing myself to forgive, to forget, and to just be.
My mind has been working extremely hard recently to hold me captive inside my thoughts, and it seemed like lately my head was the only place that I could reside in.
It seemed like most times I was unable to seperate myself from the capitivity of my head and my thoughts, which often made it extremely difficult for me to simply just enjoy the moments passing by and impeded my ability to have fun.

My prison sentence in the nearest federal brain prison has finally come to an end, and boy, am I glad that it is slowly coming to a stop.

This month, after finally learning to live outside of my brain, I was able to push myself outside of my comfort zone, as I stopped using my anxiety as a valid excuse for everything. Living outside of my head has truly helped me manage my anxiety and panic attacks to a certain extent.

While I still experienced some painful panic attacks, racing thoughts, etc., I have seen progress within my growth. I have been experimenting with various new coping mechanisms, in order to experience blissful states.
I never realized how much my own brain, my own thoughts, and my own irrational fears could take control of my life. Your brain is truly a powerful muscle!

I have been doing my best to take advantage of this new success that I have achieved by attempting to continue to grow and to continue becoming a better person every chance that I can.

Another thing that I have been working hard to do is to SLOW DOWN, in every way, shape, and form. My mind became overtly cluttered and chlosterphobic when I was unable to simply allow myself some time to slow down. When my mind is working faster than I am able to process my thoughts, my obligations, my anxieties, or my fears, I begin to immediately panic and begin feeling like I am drowning in my own thoughts, without a life vest.
Slowing down allows me to simply break down fears, obligations, stresses, etc., without exxassperating an already uncomfortable situation.

Entering every day with a strong and calm mindset is not something that can simply be done. It takes a lifetime of practice, as life is incredibly stressful.

My mind loves to wander, so it is especially important that I keep her on a short leash. In a matter of milliseconds, my mind can turn a seemingly achievable task into the MOST ENORMOUSLY TALL HURDLE TO EVER COME ACROSS. My mind also can turn into a torture chamber in a blink of an eye. As a result, I have made it an utmost priority to work on training myself on catching myself before I let my mind do such unspeakable things. These are all things that can be improved and helped, which is something that I continue to remind myself.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the beautiful life you live.
Learning to love yourself and be kind to yourself can be as simple as to stop saying that “you can’t” do something, or be better.

I am the most forgetful person when it comes to being kind to myself and learning to let myself enjoy life.
No matter what you have done, or what you are going to do, you deserve to be happy, to enjoy your life, and to have fun! You deserve to laugh and you deserve to feel good about yourself. Try to enjoy, or even celebrate, your existence and your happiness. Share it with the world!
The world, including yourself, spends too much time and effort punishing you and trying to bring you down anyways. So, you may as well enjoy as much of it celebrating and DOING LIFE, in order to maximize your time on this Earth.

Be the light at the end of the tunnel for yourself and for others.
Happiness, joy, and a love for life is contagious, and it will be the only thing I will be catching this year.

#YOLO

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Life Hack #15 – Pay It Forward

With the holidays coming around, this season should serve as a daily reminder to pay it forward, though you should always try to pay it forward.

According to Merriam Webster, the phrase “pay it forward” is defined as, to “respond to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else” (Webster). The concept of to pay it forward was first introduced, or memorialized, by Benjamin Franklin, in a letter he wrote Benjamin Webb in 1784, where he displayed confidence and support in Webb, by lending Webb money for his business, as a result of his previous good character and manners he had displayed towards Franklin. In this case, Franklin places his trust in the hands of someone who had previously shown him good deeds, lending him money, as a way to pay it forward.

While this is just one example of the concept of paying it forward, there are many ways to pay it forward this season, or just in general, without it involving money.

The action of paying it forward, or expressing love towards others, should come from the heart. This act should make you feel good! And, while people may not always be kind in every situation, showing any form of kindness or compassion, including saying “thank you,” holding the door for someone else, passing along a compliment, smiling, or showing gratitude are small ways to pay it forward.

Regardless of how you are feeling about life, making others feel good should always be a priority in your life. Making others around you miserable by choice is just not a sustainable life.

I have seen great acts involving paying it forward. Recently, a teenager walked into my place of work with someone, who appeared to be her grandmother. The teenager requested that the elderly woman order whatever she pleases, and let me be real, our menu is not the cheapest. So, the elderly woman proceeds to place an order for a gyro meat plate, and I ask, just as I ask every other customer, if she would like to add three falafel balls for an extra $1.50, and the woman hesitates. The young teenager speaks over the elderly woman, stating confidently, “yes, why not? Let’s just add three falafel.” So, I continue to make the order, and while I am checking the two ladies out at the cash register, I ask if either of them would like a drink. The teenager exclaims, “let’s make it a large mint tea lemonade,” and our fresh mint tea is also the most expensive item on the menu. I proceed, regardless. The final price comes to be about $20, including tax, and the teenager quickly hands me cash. I ask if she wants any taziki or tahini sauce with her plate, and the teenager looks at the woman, and she nods, so I grab her some extra sauces and put it in a bag, with her white pita bread. I thought nothing of this, until the old woman forgets her drink. I immediately react, grabbing the drink and sprinting out the door. I see them outside the store, sharing a conversation. I quickly interrupt, I apologize for interrupting their conversation, and I hand the elderly woman her drink. During their exchange, I hear the young teenager say, “Now, enjoy your meal and have a wonderful, wonderful day!”

I am in shock and so humbled by this random act of kindness, as the elderly woman so gratefully exclaims, “Thank you so much, dear! You are a wonderful person.” I am so humbled and feel every warm emotion go through my body, as I had just witnessed such a beautiful, selfless act of kindness. As the teenager, who so kindly and graciously helped this elderly woman, begins to walk away, I have nothing to say, but, “wow, you are truly a wonderful human being. Thank you for your kindness! Keep being amazing!” 

I was left speechless, as acts like these are so rare these days, or often overlooked, or underappreciated. I even felt good after witnessing such a monumentally selfless act of love and kindness. After witnessing that, I personally realized that I should be kinder towards people, and express and act upon the act of love and kindness that exists in this world. It is true, ladies and gentlemen, love and happiness is contagious.

The feeling you get after being kind, just out of the purest intentions, is something that cannot be explained. I try to practice random acts of kindness every day, as some acts of kindness, we are even blind to. The world is much kinder to you than you perceive sometimes, just look at it with a positive perspective. Showing your love and appreciation back to the world is a great way to feel good and make others feel good.

These acts of kindness do not always need to involve money, while I do find that tipping my favorite servers, hosts, and fellow customer-service/food industry folk a little extra is one of my favorite ways to practice kindness. 

Money does not always have to be the case. Surprising someone with coffee or a small treat is always nice, but a simple, “how are you?” or “I appreciate you” text counts, as well. Paying it forward is just expressing gratitude and kindness to those around you, strangers or not, and somehow, subtly or not subtly, letting them feel good or reminding them that they are awesome. Even your presence is sometimes the only Christmas gift, or act of kindness, someone needs. Big or small, paying it forward is important!

Since this is the season of giving, why not practice your giving skills in full-force? You are kind of being forced to anyways! Try to be a little more kind towards the people around you, once again, strangers or not. Surprise someone with a compliment, or give someone a dollar. Do you craft or have any artistic abilities? Give someone a drawing or art project that you did. Love candy? Carry around some candy and hand it out to some strangers or your friends. Next time you walk by a stranger, try to smile and wave. Do you have any extra clothes or canned food around? Try to donate them to a charity, food drive, or clothes drive. Have any extra free-time? Try to volunteer your services this season. Do you have great coworkers you love? Write them a note about how much you love and appreciate them, or maybe bring in some cookies to work. Have a phone? Text your loved ones that you love them and appreciate them, and if you don’t have a phone, try emailing them that. Have a mouth? Say “thank you” to someone who does something kind for you, or just use some manners. Maybe, you could even hold the door for someone else. Do you have ears? Maybe listen to someone problems, and invest your time in trying to offer others your advice and wisdom.

Paying it forward is simple and something that you should get in the habit of year-round. There are so many ways that one could pay it forward this season, so try hard to challenge yourself to make others around you feel good and happy. Sometimes, your act of kindness could be the highlight of someone’s day and you would have no idea. Imagine catching someone off-guard by doing something so great, even if it is a small act, and that becoming the highlight of someone’s day. It is amazing.

Kindness and love are such important values to hold by your side. Watching love and kindness happen right in front of your eyes is an even more incredible view, and something that cannot be explained so simply. The purest and rarest memories you will ever have is when you are doing something kind, as a result of someone else having shown love and kindness. The concept of paying it forward emphasizes the endless cycle of kindness and love, as people often act out of kindness, as a generosity of having encountered kindness.

Christmas means you practice the act of giving, so try to get into the spirit and make it a lifelong habit to partake in. Kindness trumps all, including hate, and this world needs more love and kindness.

♡ Be the kindness you wish to see in the world, and show the people some love ♡ We all need it ♡

xo,

Aichan Tewahade