If there is one great lesson I learned in divorce support group, it is that expectations leads to disappointment and possible destruction of a relationship. People, like horses, have blinders and are sometimes not aware of their actions (or lack of action). Bringing this to one's attention is not only important, but it is imperative to be empathetic and reasoning on where a person is at in their present moment.
People enter our lives with their own life experience, which includes good and bad times. This molds and shapes them into who they are in the present. When in a romantic experience, people will shift and change, hopefully for the better.
So how do you meet people where they're at?
It is important to have good communication and ask questions on where the person is at. Like a job interview, the interviewers will ask candidates a variety of questions. It is important to know where a person is at, and how he/she got there. Where are they now? And where are they going? And people have blinders. Exposing blinders, or limitations, in a diplomatic way helps one become aware on their areas that require improvement.
Self Examination & Communication
Self examination is something that is desperately needed today. Too many people are wrapped up in their own world of self-absorption that they cannot empathize or see various perspectives. If someone brings up an issue, you need to take their feelings seriously and look within to discern their statement. This is best handled diplomatically, where you can present your case or "rebuttal" on their response.
For some people this is not easy to do as they take everything offensively; however, if you find yourself stuck in the same situations or behavior loops, it is necessary to look within. With this, it is important to find tools (or make goals) on how to improve the situation.
Communication makes or breaks any relationship. It is essential, but maturity is what keeps communication fluid and clear. I believe in clear, concise and straightforward communication because it does not play any mind games. It maybe best to avoid words like should, would and could because they are theoretical and leads to expectations like, "You could have done it this way."
Low emotional intelligence, being defensive or chronically on-attack, damages situations. It is not easy to reach these people, especially if "treading" on egg shells.
Check-ins may be necessary to make sure each party is happy or on the same page.
It is important to see where a person is at in their life and meet them half way. We must learn how to let go of uneven desires and become the best version of ourselves (and better communicators).
There seems to be two movements going on in the world. One movement is the one of the awakening, and the development of one's soul. The other is toward narcissism and chronic self centeredness and selfishness.
The spiritual awakening movement usually opens the pathway for people to become empathetic and sympathetic. The rise in the "me" and "I" culture has bred mild narcissistic behaviors. It is the era where people are solely concerned about themselves, their job title and their income. On top of that, people cannot see situations or "hot topics" from both sides of the story, or through different lenses.
Today, I notice a trend of people becoming empathetic, and on the other end of the spectrum, people displaying more signs of mild narcissism.
So where exactly are we headed? Good question.
“Narcissistic personality disorder is named for Narcissus, from Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection. Freud used the term to describe persons who were self-absorbed, and psychoanalysts have focused on the narcissist’s need to bolster his or her self-esteem through grandiose fantasy, exaggerated ambition, exhibitionism, and feelings of entitlement.”
I had fear. Fear is real. Fear is a legit feeling one has toward something. At points on the camino, I had meltdowns as I was the only soul on the trail. At times I felt alone. This triggered my wound on the fear of being alone. At times I have no fear of being on my own. I have my own peace, but I have found that going through life with another human being is one of the most precious gifts in life.
Love will always be the most powerful force on the planet.
My camino was a cathartic purge, a trail that led me to a new chapter.
The Camino de Santiago was a lifesaver. It initiated a new chapter in my book of life. A rebirth. A coming out as Christian. I found a new love with life, myself, the planet, Christ and God.
Even if it doesn't work out like I'd hope, my soul has been called to further the spread the light from a new lens. Before the camino, I had dreams of writing a book about my experience. I've had inklings about writing another book over the last year. But this time, the title would be, "Finding Home."
I don't know how many times I cried in 2018, definitely over one hundred. But, not all tears are tears of sadness. Some tears were tears of happiness. Other tears were emotional due to being touched by God.
Although most of my Jesus Year was rough, I am thankful for everything I learned because it's led me to a better place. Like a graduation, my "diploma" from divorce has led me to be wise like a serpent, and innocent like a dove. We'll see what God and life has in store for me. Que Sera Sera.
Happy Jesus Year to you! Check out my Camino de Santiago Portuguese Way videos on Youtube!
We live in a fallen world, and thanks to the rise in consumerism we've lost our way. Corporate think tanks, the media and social media in general projects this image, which makes us aspire to live a perfect life and/or has brought out the ugliness in use, which makes us aspire to nothing.
Many people have lost their way. But, many people are finding their way back to spirituality and God. Though we can argue about various forms of spirituality, just know that many people on their path to God have good intentions.
Life on planet earth should be fun. I agree with enjoying life, but not in a vain way. I do not promote promiscuity, infidelity, greed or vanity etc.
Many spiritual people learn their lessons, and somewhere along the way fall off the path and get wrapped up in the earth plane. They get lost in job titles, money, possessions and consumerism in general.
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
There are certain necessities today such as a cell phone, computer and wifi. But our lives in America are swarming with so much crap, some who have boxes from floor to ceiling with goods.
Some people are so empty and lonely inside that they bury themselves in work or hide behind their possessions to fulfill a void.
The art and balance of life on planet earth is to respect and appreciate what you have, or what you get without losing sight of God. It's as if your feet are grounded, but your eyes continuously look upwards.
Today we are so disconnected from where our food comes from and thanks to globalism, almost every type of food is available year round rather than seasonally. And with the overuse of technology, we are further disconnected from ourselves, the truth and God.
The balance between the spiritual and the material world is gratitude. Nothing, and no one person, should be taken for granted because anything in this world is replaceable.
I believe hyperawareness and detachment are key. It's appreciating or having childlike fun with materialism, but not being attached like Ebenezer Scrooge. Whatever you accumulate can be gone or taken from you in an instant.
That beautiful, brand new car can be totaled. That new iPhone can be stolen. That amazing new house can be burnt down. Sometimes life and God teaches us the hardest lessons when we become cocky and lost. Darkness blinds us with fun and excitement and once the light shines through it teaches us the hardest of lessons.
Maya is illusion. And many people live in illusion with materialism. Common sense and logic / rational thinking is necessary to live within or under your means. The lust many people have for wealth is never ending.
Some hippie-vagabond souls live frugally because they spend their "wealth" on experience rather than material goods. Where many people fall or trip is that they are so focused on obtaining material goods whether to obtain it, or to fulfill them. As a lover of antiques, people care for these items, not only because they're old, but because they were made with quality. Quality items last and can be handed down to our future generation. On the other hand, this new age IKEA culture is disposable. Our consumption and turn over of these items are high.
The world of spiritual manifestation for abundance, I feel, messes people up more because they sit, meditate, focus on what they want and fail. The spiritual world is our spirit. The material world is our logic.
Certain common sense things are necessary to balance both worlds. We can't live a life of ignorance, racking up credit card debt and gluttony and putting our entire will in God's hands.
Hard work is necessary to achieve the impossible. This world and innovation has been built up on hard working minds, heads and hands.
In my life experience, the more I focused on God and cared less about materialism, the more abundant I became. Now my life is more abundant with experience, but each lesson has been a graduation of sorts. The more I learned and became aware of the lesson, the more life gave me.
That I believe is the "secret" to manifestation, abundance and wealth. Timing and one's soul maturity is important. Keep looking inward, and don't forget to say thanks to people as well as God.
I planned this trip in early September and with only six weeks to train, I have had no aches or pains, no blisters, a little bit of soreness at first, but now I am not even getting sore. I am "addicted" to carrying that bag, or that load on my back. Even with my bag loaded, I walk to the grocery store to add another 6-8 pounds to my bag - there is absolutely zero affect on my back or my legs.
During some walks, I feel God speak to me that this is not a physical journey, but an emotional and spiritual journey into my mind, body and soul.
Walking around Seattle in fall is stunning. Flowers still bloom while the trees change color. The foliage encourages the blossoming of the true color of my soul. As I watch the leaves fall, it is the time and a sign to let go. Let go of the things that no longer serve me.
âBut with every footstep around this city I recognize the natural death and rebirth process. While God chooses every leaf that falls off a tree, I notice figs still bloom on a tree. Part of human existence includes letting go, and rebuilding up. Our human bodies are no different than nature where we have this synergy between anabolism and catabolism.
Ever since living in Germany, I've become more fascinated with the forest. Naturally attracted to water, I've transitioned from the light and airy sun-worshipping beaches and entered the depths of my ancient soul amidst archaic trees.
The thing is, I am actually doing good and fine in my life right. Im exhausted from work, but that is okay. Once I booked this trip, I found much peace in my life. My attitude changed and my outlook on life became brighter. I processed my divorced and in the spring I was ready to move forward with my life. I am very accepting of people and their life choices and lifestyle.
âI understand that people enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When my ex-husband told me on October 18, 2017 that he wanted a divorce, my entire reality shifted. I just got back from a trip in Germany and for some reason during that trip I hit the upmost pivotal gratitude for that man and my marriage. I was ready for the next thing, which I thought would be to have a child. There was miscommunication on that very important topic.
As he told me this, I started saying, "No. No. No. You need to believe in me." While we both started crying, I had a psychic vision of a hand holding a rolled-up diploma in the air with graduation hats flying into the air. My intuition doesn't hear things much, but I had a voice inside my head say, "You got it. You graduated. You learned your lesson." My laptop died and for 17 days I sat in silence, realizing how intellectual and work-orientated we were, and partly my fault, didn't tap much into the emotional world. I looked in the mirror and expressed all of my faults and admitted everything I did wrong or took for granted.
Completely crushed, I knew it was me fighting against God or our soul's contract. I was on a sinking ship and I looked him in the eyes and told him that I am going to fight for him. And I did that. I wrote several novel-like letters. One 17 pages, a 33-page hand written book on our memories together, and another 7 page plea expressing how I changed.
None of it worked. I went home for Thanksgiving and cried at the lake near my parent's home. I sat on a log in the forest wanting to die. I googled every Christian prayer to save a marriage. And each time I did these things, our connection became more disconnected. He started dating someone. He cut me off social media. He cut my family off social media. He completely detached his life from any memories of 10 years together. He told me that everyday I treated him good, with kindness and respect. On some deeper subconscious, intuitive level he told me that he chose me, but I didn't choose him.
âI accepted my fate. Being the one left behind, especially blind sided can really fuck you up unless you have enough grounding and acceptance in life. It is very easy as a woman to deny a man's feelings or needs. Men are strong on the exterior, but inside sometimes I feel they are more sensitive and emotional than women. Inside every man is a little boy.
I needed to get out but I couldn't as I had to scramble to figure out my job situation. In January, I earned just under $2,000 and my rent is just under $1600. I almost impulsively moved to Chicago or Philadelphia, in hopes of starting a new life, and in the future, finding a more traditional man.
I processed, I grieved, I forgave. I realized I am just another example of a tragic love story in this world of human existence.
I needed to do something for myself, which is why the St. James has been chosen, but at the right time.
Actually, I am over my divorce, but what I am still attached to is the fear of not finding a life partner or someone who treats me well. My ex was a romantic man, and I took that for granted at times. Never again will I do that. But on the flip side, that man also took me for granted, for which I shut down emotionally. We were both selfless, selfish, loving, caring and ignorant to each other. We were both suffering in flighty Seattle after living in Germany where loyalty, honesty and integrity were a large part of their culture. The main issue was not communicating feelings in order to protect each other's emotions.
Divorce ignited all these fears in college and wounds of being absolutely shitted on and used by men. Men are logical. Most women are moral. It is very easy to take advantage of spiritually-based women who can be naive.
I've been the weekend girlfriend. I've been the friend with benefits. I've been used emotionally. I've been lied to. I've been used for the adventurous experience. Women can be horrible people too, but after conversations with my beta male friends. It's the nice people who always get shitted on - man or woman.
But through the turmoil of my confidence and soul being flushed down the toilet, I rediscovered a deeper connection to self love. My life is best operated with balance. I like how I balance the material and the spiritual world. I like how I appreciate a balance between arts, science and athletics. I like that I am straightforward. I like that I am modest, but also creative and free spirited. I like how I am a cheerleader, encouraging my partner to become the man he wants to be, balancing healthy degrees of freedom. I love myself. I love my flaws. I love my strengths.
View this post on Instagram
In five days, Iâm leaving for the Way of St James. In perfect transition of the fall, a time to let go and expose true colors. ? Follow more at lemontreetravel.com ?#blog #blogger #bloggerlife #blogging #writer #writersofinstagram #author #authorsofinstagram #travel #travelblogger #wanderlust #wander #spain #espaÃ±a #portugal #camino #caminodesantiago #beach #travelstagram #garden #nature #europe #jesus #hiking #hikingadventures #wayofstjames #divorce
A post shared by Elizabeth Kovar (@erkovar) on
My 2018 has been nothing but breadcrumbs and false hopes all while getting beaten over the head by men. The lies. The emotional manipulation. The flakiness. I needed a break. I lost my marriage. I've lost my mind with the corruption of the divorce court where I believe in equality for both partners. I've lost important freelance work. I fractured my toe. I've been ghosted. I can't seem to get a full-time job in one of the most prosperous cities. I haven't even mildly dated, only meeting people naturally, to find out these guys either had girlfriends, open relationships or used me for emotional support while they get sexual pleasures from whatever dark shit they dabble in with multiple pleasures. I've always been suspicious of the tech industry and the programming that happens in these men's brains have completely destroyed their reality of what women want. Women don't want to be texted like a bar slut and they don't want be treated like a real world porn star. Even my gay Italian friend said straight men are "dumb," and don't realize women don't want to be texted this dirty stuff (in the initial stages).
Modern men today are cowards, and part of this is socially engineered. Women respect strong and honest men. They ghost as they are too afraid to hurt someone's feelings. They are too selfish to be upfront about what they are looking for and will lie and manipulate to get you into the sack, or boast about your beauty behind their girlfriend's back. They can't ask a woman out on a date as they fear rejection. That is just part of being a man. If you want to date a feminine woman you have to take the lead.
All of my friends told me to download a dating app and get laid. I felt I had healthy coping mechanisms of rediscovering myself through counseling, rock climbing and various types of yoga. Somehow my mind is stronger than my body and I can resist all forms of temptations.
Work has taken over our souls and relationships are either of convenience or whatever can fit into our work week. Many men in this city have like 4-6 side options figuring out who will be the winner. I've counseled sex addicts and they have dreams of epic sex parties or being choked during sex. I can't understand this mentality, but I do not judge it. Throughout my spiritual experience I believe darkness warps people's minds causing them to become further lost souls. I believe God sends those people to me for me to give them an ounce of light in their life.
My brain operates on purity, innocence and depth. I dream of fairy-tale-like romance like a nice dance around the Christmas tree to classical music. Or having a picnic on a nice summer's day while reading poetry from some 1922 vintage book. I also enjoy the non-refined frolics of life like drinking beer and watching sports.
I feel I have no relevance to life today. And on this walk, I want to let go of that belief. I believe there are people like me in this world. We are the minority, but through God's will, we will find each other. Whatever happens on this journey is meant for me, but it is a reset button. A button coming a year in, and although I wanted to do this 7 months ago, somehow timing always works best in life when it's meant to be.
I love cooking. I find it therapeutic and ignites a different sense of creativity. I follow alot of intuitive cooking, which means I dont necessarily "follow the rules" on exact measurements but sometimes "go with my gut" on what spices and such are needed or necessary. I've also discovered through my cooking I don't always time things but rather use my sense of smell to indicate when a pie, or baked good is near done. Whenever the kitchen become aromatic it is a sign that whatever is in the oven is ready to be checked.
Alongside cooking, I teach yoga. Today, I focus most of my teaching on moderate and slow flows, for which require ambient or down-tempo music.
At the retreat, I played various playlists using mixcloud.com, and wanted to share my favorite tracks. I not only use these in my yoga classes, but also in the kitchen to inspire yet another culinary creation.
Change is inevitable, but necessary.
The human experience is no exception to change, transitions and highs and lows in life. It is utterly delusional to think that our life will follow the same path as a starry-eyed Hollywood movie; however, when analyzing these films, the main character encounters various obstacles and struggles.
Humans don't like change, but they crave and desire change. The biggest change to one's life path is through having a child. Some people accept and celebrate this change, but fight to let go or to help their mental state.
It is not easy or comfortable to walk a new path in life while leaving the old behind.
During times of transitions, this is where the learning begins.
Like a future flower budding from the ground, this is moment where consciousness shifts to say goodbye to the dark and say hello to the light. The business world talks of an inflection point, a point where the concave changes directions, either toward growth or a decline. This is a pivotal point for one to wake up and listen to their higher mind and trust and believe that taking the "high road" will lead them to change.
Change is spiritual. It is the time of becoming a better version of yourself and push through boundaries of fear that have held you back from seeking your potential.
Spiritual journeys don't have to be epic adventures around the globe. For some, it is
Sadly, many people have not had good mentors or leaders in their life, specifically in the work world. A career shift is a spiritual change. When transitioning careers, one's soul or spirit guides them to something more meaningful in life. It is not uncommon to see tech geeks up and quit their job to open a bakery or a fitness company. Something in that corporate world sucked their soul dry and they wanted to do something more meaningful in life. That is the point of TRUE LIBERATION - the moment where your life, happiness and contribution to the world means more than the people and situations that brought you down. Many people today believe that drug use and sexual experimentation is liberation. In my experience, the more people dabble in those environments, the more their soul cries for help.
So how do you unlock the power of transitions?
If you want to change your career, you may need to go back to school or sign up for a certificate program.
If you want to improve your marriage, you may need marriage counseling.
If you want to improve your health, you may need to hire a trainer or a health coach.
The answer lies inside each and every one of us, but we just have to believe and trust in ourselves, our voice and our higher mind. Change and transition strengthens our spirit. It may not be easy and during this time we may experience more inflection points or potential outcomes.
If you want to change, you have to put in the work and find tools, people or support networks that will aide you on your journey.
Are you on a spiritual journey in life? Let's Connect and check out Mind Body Soul Food's other recent blog posts.
During tough times, I've used quotes to inspire, uplift and help me through tough times. This is part of the reason my weekly Sunspiration exists. Below are 15 of my favorite quotes to help you when the going gets tough.
"Tough times never last, but tough people do."
—Robert H. Schuller
"To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist."
—Gail Sheehy, Author
"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."
"You're going to go through tough times - that's life. But I say, 'Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.' See the positive in negative events."
"Never give up. There are always tough times, regardless of what you do in anything in life. Be able to push through those times and maintain your ultimate goal."
"God already knows what we're made of, but perhaps He wants us to learn what we're made of. I think we would all agree that we learn more from our tough times than from our easy times."
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
– Albert Einstein
"The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths."
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm, take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”
-LL Cool J
"Adversity introduces a man to himself."
– Albert Einstein
"Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right."
– Sherrilyn Kenyon
"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
– Joshua J. Marine
"Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is how you learn from it."
– Lou Holtz
Today, society is built and our basic needs are met (in western civilization), which means our worries are channeled into other areas of life. As we've seen this degradation of society, thanks to social media, technology and not having our priorities straight, our emotional and mental health problems increased.
Not only do we have imprints from our parents, and other baggage that needs healed, but now humanity is facing an egoic and spiritual crisis. We've been disconnected from the source and most people do not know how to cope with their problems.
I believe that everyone at some point in their life should hire a therapist, psychologist or counselor. No one is perfect and everyone has fear, baggage, wounds or issues that affect their everyday decision.
Life is a process and even during good times, an old wound may be triggered. If anyone claims that they don't ever need help they are either in denial or obviously to their actions.
The modern dating world is on the brink of destruction. With so many apps and past breakups, men and women are sick of each other and have virtually zero trust for one another. The interpretation of text messages, ghosting and breadcrumbing has everyone on edge and triggering fears and insecurities. Take this on top of childhood wounds, abuse, and being used - people need to process their emotions. Many people who experience horrible situations or breakups become bitter. Their bitterness carries over into the next relationship, which is not fair to the new individual.
So what to do? Hire a therapist.
Are you an addict of some sort? Hire a therapist.
Do you sabotage every healthy relationship that enters your life? Hire a therapist.
Do you live in fear or in anger everyday? Hire a therapist?
Do you reach out to drugs, sex and alcohol to cope with your emotions? Hire a therapist.
No one but you can change and overcome your obstacles. Society will always be messed up and other people will try to take us down. It is up to us to take charge with our lives and find contentment and satisfaction within and with what we have.
Life is not only stressful in the corporate world, but also the bottom end jobs where corporations take advantage of their employees whether it'd be over working them or "accidentally" charging them a fee for cashing their paycheck. Life in America has become all work and no play.
This is part of the American Dream experience, but at some point working too much takes a toll on one's mind, body and soul. Especially for millennials, work has become one's identity and gives them a source of identity and belonging. (Trust me I've been there and broke away from that toxic work-identity relationship.)
Balance is key but many people must learn how to separate work and life, which is not easy to do. Many clients I trained have "golden handcuffs." The compensation is so high or too good that they are bounded to job and it is a priority in their life. At some point, we have to make a decision on what is best for us.
Here are five signs that work is overtaking your life, health and soul.
Your Stress Increases
You Lose Interest in Hobbies & Social Life
The best thing for these people is to maintain a social life, because the human emotion is what keeps people going. Being alone, stuck in thought and worry leads people deeper into isolation and depression.
Negative Habits Increase
If so, these are signs that work is overtaking your life. Most people who are angst, worried or sad connect to things that comfort or relax them. Many people reach out for substances, which works temporarily, but long-term, has adverse health affects as well as co-dependency problems. Being dependent upon caffeine for energy is a clear indicator that your body is out of balance.
Work is Your Identity
Most people need to severe the cord of their identity with their work accomplishments. Work is work. It will always be there and there will be another day that contains endless hours of emails, phone calls and meetings. The point is that life is not perfect and the work world is brutal. So why attach your self worth with your work? It is setting one up for disappointment.
Even for me as a blogger, I realize that people critique articles and writers in the most cruel way. I need to keep a sense of personal identity and emotional attachment to my life accomplishments and not just my work.
Your boss won't be by your side in the hospital. Your company may not even exist while you're on your death bed. Work is a temporary experience. Our loved ones, friends and family will be there for us during the lowest moments in life.
You Lose Sleep or Have Sleepless Nights
One sign that an athlete is overtraining is that they lose sleep. Their body's sleep-wake cycle is out of balance because they pushed themselves too hard. The same goes for being overworked, on top of working crazy hours overnight.
Those addicted to caffeine will disrupt their sleep-wake cycle. The body cannot function while doped on a stimulant. It's common sense and our ignorance of the human body makes us egotistical to think that what we ingest and consume can't affect our health.
If you stare at the ceiling overthinking, sleeping pills will not cure your sleep issues. This is a problem rooted to the mind and overthinking. Your brain needs to be retrained to stimulate the "rest and digest" phase of the nervous system to get out of "fight of flight."
Most people need to step back and analyze how their job affects them. There is no perfect job or work place, and many people are stuck in their job until something better comes along. Until that happens, people need to learn how to maintain their stress and actively pursue things that improve their wellbeing.
Trust me on this. I've been there myself as a stressed out insomniac, which is why I ended up, "Finding Om," in India to study yoga to figure out what the hell was going on in my mind, body and soul. Most diseases are rooted to the mind and a lack of spirit or joy in life.
Do you suffer from work-life balances? If so, how has work affected your health and wellbeing?
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com
Follow her travels at: lemontreetravel.com