“A woman is a beast. She is as lovely as she is repulsive. She is one part demon and one part goddess, one part slave and one part muse, one part child and one part mother. These contradictions are what makes a woman so intoxicating.”
– Andrea Mary Marshall
Note: This not just limited to one gender, it’s for everyone. But it is, however, dedicated to the sisterhood.
To every single woman in this world, I dedicate this post to you. May we always strive to become better people.
1. To be brave and to always follow your fears.
If you weren’t afraid of anything, what would you do?
With courage, you are given the power to do anything in the world. We hold ourselves back so much because of fear. I’ve known so many women who have immense potential and power within them, but they don’t do what they’ve always wanted to do or needed to do because they’re too afraid. So they’re stuck in this loop, this cage, where they stay stagnant and they keep inhibiting themselves with their fears. And all I want to do is to help them and pull them out of it, but the only way to do it is if they get out of that loop themselves. You have to realize it for yourself. At the other end of fear is always freedom. On that other side, a whole realm of possibilities awaits you.
If we were to face and conquer all these fears we have, can you imagine how liberated and blissful you would feel after? Face your fears and be free from it. Start today. Do something that scares you. You could start with something small like randomly talking to a stranger, to screaming in public randomly, to cliff jumping, to sky diving, swimming with whale sharks, to spontaneously traveling to a city or country you’ve never been to. As you conquer each bigger fear one by one you are allowing yourself to grow and to be free. Liberation from your fears is the most power kind of liberation there is.
2. You’re much stronger than you know.
“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”-Carlos Castaneda
Even when you’re crying on the floor begging the gods for mercy. Even when your heart is broken open, vulnerable, weak, and people are waiting to take an aim for it. Even when everything seems bleak and dim. Even when you feel weak and you feel like giving up on life. Even when you feel like you’re caving into yourself. You are much stronger. Much much stronger, than you will ever realize. I know this because I have been at my absolute weakest, ready to give up on my life. And somehow, I found the strength. If I can do that at my rock bottom then I believe within every cell of me that anyone, most especially any woman, can find strength in them. And this is why I will always hold on to this truth. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually… we are much stronger than we will ever know. Every single of one of us darling, every single one.
3. Never let a man define you.
“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”- Jorge Luis Borges
Never let a man take charge of your happiness. Never rely on a man for happiness. Never let a man, or anyone else define you or anyone for that matter. You don’t need a man to be happy. You are in charge of your own happiness. Don’t get me wrong, being in love is a beautiful thing. Loving each other is one of the greatest things in the world. But a lot of women, tend to rely on their man, on their love, for their happiness. Don’t get attached, don’t need, don’t be dependent. You tend to lose yourself when you do that. When you lose yourself, you lose focus, you tend to lose your ambitions, you lose track of your path and put your dreams on hold. You can still certainly love someone without having them define you, without needing each other so badly you can’t live without each other. Women need to find happiness within themselves on their own, before they choose to truly love another.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
Even if you think that they are truly flawed, even if they did you wrong, whatever you judgements you make of a person is a reflection of yourself. I get how this is a hard pill to swallow, because automatically our brain says well clearly this person is doing something wrong, or they have flaws, how can that be a reflection of myself? In reality, that judgement you made of them says more about who you are than them. The more we choose to see people through their flaws, the more it reflects our own. Instead, we should always choose to see the good in them. Again, no matter how much they are wrong, no matter how much their traits bother us, no matter how flawed we think they are, it doesn’t matter. It takes a lot of practice and awareness to do it, I had to keep re-learning this myself. But we should practice on keep other people’s negative traits to ourselves and focus on speaking of the good we see in them. When you choose to always see the good in people, their bad somehow melts away. When you start to believe that they are good, they too, will believe it as well and will choose to be the good that you see in them.
5. To meditate.
“Then I meditated for an hour of bone-tingling stillness until I finally felt it again – that specific, constant, clear-sky, unrelated-to-anything, never-shifting, nameless and changeless perfection of my own happiness.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Meditation has completely shifted my life and made me a better woman. It’s tough to do it in the beginning because we’ve been accustomed to this monkey thinking pattern that we’ve had our whole lives. I couldn’t even meditate for 10 seconds, thoughts kept popping in and it was so difficult to have a clear mind. But when I focused more on my breathing, literally focusing on my inhales and exhales, suddenly everything was clear. Because of meditation my depression was gone, I became much less anxious, and I wasn’t that fearful, pessimistic person who was easily bothered by things. Now I sit or lay down to meditate at least three times a day. I do this for everything, to visualize my dreams, to clear negative thoughts and emotions, to connect with the source, to connect with my inner self. You can do this through cloud gazing, star gazing, through prayers, through running, and just by being in the moment. There are many forms of meditations. As you get deeper into it you will feel the oneness that connects us all to each other, to the Earth, to the Universe. And you’ll be happier, more loving, more positive, complete and at peace with yourself and everything that surrounds you.
6. Dream big.
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”-Kristine K. Stevens
What’s the point in playing small? In working for other people and their dreams? We should always aim to fulfill our wildest and biggest dreams. We are given this beautiful life to live, we should use everything we have to make our biggest dreams happen. Do something everyday, even if it’s something small that could get you there, these small steps are what will make your dreams come alive. They’re little pieces to the bigger puzzle, if you keep making the effort to piece it all together then one day your dreams will unfold. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, persistence, and trusting the universe. If you believe in visualize your dreams and believe in it with every cell of you, it will manifest.
7. Travel & explore as much as you possibly can, especially on your own.
“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.” -Paulo Coelho
We were born wanderers. It’s in our nature to explore and see the world as much as we possibly can. There’s this insatiable wanderlust within all of us that will not get satisfied until we get out there and see the world. It’s common for people to recite a list of reasons as to why women shouldn’t travel, most especially alone. These reasons are mostly fears and doubts that they have on themselves. Don’t listen to them. These people are usually the ones who have never even been out of the country or truly traveled themselves. The truth is, I have met more solo traveling women than men on the road. Once you get out in the backpacking world, it’s not uncommon at all. It’s only dangerous and scary if you choose to see it that way. Be careful, follow your intuition, be open to experiences if it feels right, if it feels wrong don’t do it. Simple as that. Everything lies in perception, especially when you’re traveling. Radiate good vibes, follow your intuition, be brave, and keep a sunny disposition and you will attract the same kind of energy, people, and experiences.
So what are you waiting for? Buy that plane ticket, the world is waiting.
8. Be kind.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
The smallest acts of kindness has the power to change someone’s life. Whether it’s from holding a door for someone, or paying for their coffee, or giving them a genuine smile, or giving random strangers high fives while you’re running, it could dramatically change their entire day in an instant and light up their world. Show other people that you’re human, that we’re not robots. We’re human beings born out of love, with a lot more to give. Even when people are being difficult, that’s when you should be the most kind to them. Kill them with kindness.
9. Let things go.
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Buddha
It’s easy to latch on to things, to grudges, to emotions, to thoughts, to pain, to anger. It’s easy to do that because we’ve been accustomed to it and our egos like to cling onto things that cause us pain and suffering. But in reality, things are so much easier when we let it go. When that driver cuts us off, instead of cursing him, his mom, and his family, maybe you should take a deep breath instead, wish him safety, and smile. Whatever grudges you have with friends or exes, even if we don’t talk to them anymore, we can forgive them in our hearts. So that when we see them, there is no heavy weight, only good wishes and love sent.
10. Always get out of your comfort zone.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”- Christopher Columbus
Comfort zones keep you in a loop. In a space where everything you’ve always wanted to do is out of reach, there’s always excuses, there’s always what ifs, there’s always fear and doubts keeping the bubble together. And it’s keeping you in. Do you want to stay in the bubble forever? No? Good. In order to do so you’d have to take action and prepare yourself for growth. Life is all about growth, if we continue to stay in our comfort zone then we’ll never grow. But if you always choose to get out of your comfort zones, your are opening yourself up to infinite possibilities that could benefit your inner growth and your life.
11. You are a beautiful goddess.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Ross
Your value as a human being is not measured through the numbers on a weighing scale, or how big the gap is between your thighs, or how visible your ribcage is. These are all lies that society and media has made to make money through objectifying women. It is their job to sell people “beauty”, and their definition of beauty is usually in the form of photoshop, airbrushing, and starvation to look the part. Nobody really looks like that on a regular day. Embrace your weirdness, your quirks, your flaws, and your imperfections. All of which makes you beautiful and perfectly you. Perception is everything. No matter how old, how big, how skinny, how tall, how short you are… if you always choose to see the beautiful parts of you and if you always have good thoughts about yourself, you will always look beautiful.
And watch this video of who I truly see as one the most beautiful women in the world. She’ll show you a thing or two about what real beauty is.
12. How to be alone.
“But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.”- Tanya Davis
I can’t stress this enough. Learn how to be alone without the need to have people constantly around you, without constantly chatting with people over the phone, without the need for validating yourself through others. Just learn how to be by yourself. Walk, hike, swim, run, laugh, sit, stand, travel by yourself. Being alone will cleanse you, recharge you and strengthen you. Click this post, being alone is the most healing thing you can ever do for yourself. And watch this video.
13. Stop following “timelines” or “milestones”.
“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”– Joseph Campbell
Get married in your mid 20s, buy a house in your late 20s, have a baby in your late 20s and early 30s, and the timeline moves along. That’s what they say right? The reality is you don’t have to get married, you don’t even have to have a baby if you truly don’t want to. Before I explain this any further, please know that I am not against any of these. Because I would love to have at least one child one day and if I, one day, decide that marriage is for me it would be because I found the right one who I connect with in all levels. Spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, everything. And more importantly, that it feels right to me. To my heart. To my soul. My point is, it’s very important to listen to what you inner voice is telling you. And if it’s telling you that kids aren’t for you, that marriage isn’t for you, listen to it. You are probably meant for a different path in life, one that stays true to your purpose here on this planet. Don’t get married because your parents want you to, or because you’re in a long-term relationship and you might as well tie the knot, or have a baby because you’re a woman and that’s what you’re suppose to do, or because you’ve hit that “milestone” and you feel like you need to, or because you need a man to make you happy, or because your peers are all getting married and you don’t want to be left out. You don’t have to hit these societal milestones and timelines and you sure don’t have to plan your life around it most especially if you don’t want to. Create your own life.
14. It’s better to spend your money on experiences, not things.
“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Things. All these things. Things you don’t even need and it’s ridiculous how people become slaves to these things. Let’s weight it all out. Would you rather have a brand new Louis Vuitton purse that costs a few grand? Or use that to buy a ticket and travel the world? It’s just a purse. I mean it’s cool to put stuff in, that’s what it’s for. But you can also buy a purse in Bali. And whatever profit you made from selling that Louis Vuitton will pay for your ticket, your whole trip, and your new purse. Not to mention the priceless adventures you’ll have and all the amazing people you’ll meet. Spending your money on experiences will make you happier in the long run than spending it on stuff. Get rid of all that stuff and you’ll feel lighter. Strip down to the basic needs and you’ll laugh and find that it’s all you should really have. And you’ll be free to wander freely around the world, how amazing would that be?
15. Forgive yourself.
“You have to forgive yourself, everyday, whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself ‘That’s just fine’. You have to forgive yourself so much, until you don’t even see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like.” – C. Joybell C.
It’s time to forgive yourself. For everything. For everything you’ve done that you feel horrible for. For all the burdens you still carry inside of you. For the past. For everything. Forgive yourself darling, just forgive yourself.
16. Love yourself.
“As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is Love of Oneself.” – Charlie Chaplin
It’s the most important and selfless thing you can ever do. When you love yourself, you no longer feel the need to validate yourself through others. When you love yourself, you don’t need other people to make you happy. You may still feel sadness but you will always feel whole. You will always have that innate constant love and happiness that you feel for yourself. The void is no longer there, it is filled. And when it is filled, you want to share that love with others. To your lover, to your family, to your friends, to strangers, to people you brush up against in a crowd, to people across the world you haven’t even met. That kind of love is endless. It knows no bounds, no need, no ego, no attachment. It’s infinite. Love yourself so much so that the love will spread and radiate through everything you touch and every presence you grace through. Love yourself so much that you become selfless.
“When a woman rises up in glory, her energy is magnetic and her sense of possibility contagious.” – Marianne Williamson
(All photos by yours truly.)