Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's Newly 2017—Confidence, Inspiration, Favorites

I’m back, baby. Back in the city, back in my body, back as me—the Libby I know and love.
It’s hard when you take a step back and realize that you’ve become a stranger to yourself. It’s scary.

I’m in a bookstore right now. It’s one of those bookstore/coffee shop hybrids. It’s very pleasant—the air flow, the company (of both books upon books and soft-footed humans alike), the tunes overhead, the lighting. I feel very…protected. It’s hard coming back to the city when you’ve been away for a while. Undoubtedly, it’s magical thing. However, it’s also…overwhelming.

There’s something about bookstores. I guess that’s because there’s something about books. Seems like a stupid observation, I’m aware, but think about it...Within the pages of each and every book that has ever been created is so much energy, love, contemplation, curiosity, hard-work, freedom, history, personality, creativity…Within the pages of each and every book are peoplepeople to be discovered and dissected and loved (be it a character, the author, or oneself as the reader).

Around me, the floorboards are creaky, the beeping noise of the scanner is steady, and the bathroom door handle is rickety. Around me, the colors are neutral, eyeglasses resting on nose bridges and facedown phones on café tables are abundant, and everything and anything is labeled…

(Photo by: Francis Leith, August 2016, 35 mm)

Two people just played the “Which way are you going to go?” game, complete with the awkward, distressed shifting and nervous giggling. It was a cute interaction to witness. Both walked away thereafter—eyeballing their feet, wearing crooked grins, and fidgeting with their fingers. Me? I’m still sitting. A woman just walked by in a fabulous electric green/faux fur jacket. She’s speaking French with her daughter. I tried to tell her that I liked her jacket in French. I probably butchered it.

I started this post saying that I was feeling like a stranger to myself.
I don’t say that to put myself down. Instead, I say that to realize that I don’t (nor do I need to) feel that way anymore.
My word of the week? Confidence.

Like I said, feeling like a stranger to yourself is scary. So…don’t overcomplicate it. Simply, don’t be a stranger to yourself. Prioritize confidence in your life—do things that make you feel confident, inspire yourself, stimulate your creativity, exercise originality and self-expression, etc. So, here are some images/ideas/things I’m thinking about right now that are stimulating my confidence and creativity, inspiring me, and making me SMILE.

      • The idea of making (and motivation to make) new friends
      • Thinking about new and creative ways to make some cash
      • New piercings?
      • Redecorating and reorganizing
      • Fun with makeup (eyes & nails?)
      • The list I made of café’s, museums, and places around the city that I want to visit
      • This picture my mom sent me this morning
      • A funny movie my boyfriend showed me: Doomsdays
      • Telling/hearing/thinking about stories
      • Sparkly things
      • Looking at the clothes in my closet with fresh eyes/creating new looks with what I own
      • Sketching
      • These songs…

...and lots more.
What are you inspired by today? Are you feeling confident?

xx, Lib

Friday, January 13, 2017

What is Magic? December, Teamwork between Readiness & Desire, and the Truth about Truth.

The holidays have passed. Did they ever come though?
The tree did, the lights did, the snow did, the family did, the music did, and th—
…it feels as if something was missing this year, though.

The holiday season is known as a magical time of year. As we’ve all observed at some point or another, delight twirls throughout the air starting the day after Thanksgiving and lasting until that single, majestic day about a month later—the 25th of December (for those who celebrate Christmas, that is). This is evident in just how significantly the world around us changes upon entering December…Everything and anything is peppermint-ized; the medley of red, gold, and green is unavoidable; the musky scent of fir seems to be infused in the air itself; bells jingle and evergreens line the sidewalks; twinkling lights and glittery decorations adorn homes and fences and storefronts; old sweaters and chunky hats come out of hiding from the depths of trunks and attics; smiles shimmer and dimples dance, and…

Where’s the magic, though?
Can we see it? Or is it hidden—is it embedded in the smiles, the wafting fragrances, the twinkly lights?

Step back a bit.
What is magic?

It’s funny, the power we have within ourselves to yield resultsany results; the power of belief. This rings true not only when it comes to classic holiday stories and movies though—it extends beyond the principle of Santa Clause and the symbolism of the chiming bell in The Polar Express (for those who aren’t familiar with the message of The Polar Express, the sound of the bell from Santa’s sleigh is only able to be heard by those who truly believe). 

The power of perspective.

The magical feeling we sense during December is only magical because we want it to be— because we believe the magic exists—because we want such magic to exist. It’s a powerful thing, to want to experience a given feeling. In this case, we give our wants and desires validity by basing them in something external from and (illusorily) bigger than us (such as the emblematic date of Christmas). However, before we can want to experience a given feeling, we first must be ready. The template looks something like this:

    1. We’re ready to feel (insert given feeling(s) here)
    2. …because (insert reason here)
    3. …and, thus, we want to feel (insert given feeling(s) here
    4. …because it contextually makes sense
    5. …so we feel those feelings & those feelings feel—BECOME—real. 
For example, in this scenario.
    1. We’re ready to feel excitement and tenderness and gratefulness
    2. …because it’s December
    3. …and, thus, we want to feel excitement and tenderness and gratefulness
    4. …because it contextually makes sense
    5. …so we feel those feelings & those feelings feel—BECOME—real. 

Readiness and desire work in tandem, often behind the scenes, to spawn feeling (which is what drives us in life—our craving for feeling).

There’s something else I want to touch upon…
You know how I said that we give our wants and desires validity by basing them in things external from and (illusorily) bigger than us? Well, what if we re-concocted our perception of ourselves—within ourselves—by making ourselves paramount; the biggestunsurpassable

We need to challenge ourselves to begin rooting our wants within ourselves. We need to challenge ourselves to see ourselves as possessing more validity.
We, as humans, MAKE the outside world what it is—it’s only real to us because it’s something we perceive. In my opinion and based upon my experience(s), whatever we deem real is…our real. Sure, everyone’s definition of what is real and what is not WILL differ. However, in their world or in your world, what’s real is real—and that’s the real truth.

Starkly, magic itself is an illusion. I realized this in fourth grade upon finding out the truth about Santa Clause (and sobbing hysterically for weeks afterward). If we really think about it, everything in life is an illusion. Hope isn’t lost though—I’m not saying this to desensitize you. Instead, I’m saying this to empower you—to excite you. If everything in life is an illusion—and meaning and magic are only as real as us humans make them—that means that US HUMANS have the power to choose what exactly we find meaningful and magical (after, of course, US HUMANS determine what’s real or not real in the first place). The important part? We hold the power...all of it...

The power of perspective is…quite terrifying when we take a step back. You may not believe in yourself, but I mean it when I say that you have the ability to make anything…anything. You can feel anything, do anything, see anything, be anything (try replacing all my “anything”s above with “whatever you WANT”). 

Such ability to sculpt what we see as real proves the insanely cool elasticity of us as humans—of our minds.

Remember: nothing is binding you to a certain way of thinking. If there's something that you want to do—if you want to think a certain way or for something to be real you you—that want/desire to achieve something, whatever that something is, is fundamentally rooted in wanting to feel. So...feel.

What's real to you?
xx, Lib