Pay it forward

Posted by jennifer gibson on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 Under: August 2018

In a world controlled by  corporate greed and massive consumerism, it’s not a surprise that there has been a monumental shift in the population towards a deeper sense of personal contentment. We’ve have grown tired of the fear tactic that is being used by the retail market, constantly making us think that they would run out of their products when in fact, they have too much on their hands that ends up in the landfills.

There is a growing sense of awareness and concerns about the welfare of animals, our environment, and treatment towards people. Everyday, we are exposed to devastating news around the world, from out of control wildfires to earthquakes, loss of endangered species and so much more. It’s a never-ending cycle of negativity, our daily life is filled with constant information, advertising, and technology screaming at us for attention. 

As a result of being constantly being bombarded with this overwhelming tsunami of information, we are becoming more sensitive to our needs. It has nudged us towards looking inwards, there is a growing urgency to find our inner peace. I feel it too. Everywhere I look, whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even Etsy, there is a demand for more spiritual and kinder affirmations. 

Recently, I came across an article in a prominent magazine about a successful athlete where he proudly showed off his immense collect of athletic shoes in his closet. My jaw literally dropped at the sight of this arrogant display of materialism. Mind you, I have nothing against someone having a passionate sense of loyalty to a brand, especially if it fits, however, this degree of excessive need to buy hundreds of shoes for their own personal need was profoundly disturbing. The main reason for my reaction was that I struggle on a daily basis to live on my limited income. The concept of having enough money to be able to freely buy so many shoes was beyond me. It wasn’t jealously or judgement, just concern for the millions of starving children in war-torn countries. I sincerely hope that he has been able to make charitable donations to help end poverty.  

It’s situations like this that encourage many people, like me, to look inwards for a sense of harmony and balance. There has been a renewed sense of need towards being more mindful of our actions and behaviour, particularly when it affects us. This focus is more about being in tune with our souls. We are becoming more spiritually aware of our inner feelings and creating a stronger link to our state of mind to promote healing. I’m seeing more posts on Instagram providing inspirational messages about being kinder to ourselves and spreading positive vibes. I have also began doing this as well, and have been actively engaged in designing visual artwork with positive affirmations.

In some ways, it feels like the 70’s again, where everyone seems to be tapping back into that time period of simplicity and “feel good” era. Coincidentally, I’m seeing an explosion macrame in stores as well as Etsy. My mother and I used to make these when I was a young kid. Well known celebrities, such as Russell Brand, have made this change towards a deeper sense of understanding and appreciation of mindfulness in their lives.  Guru Gabrielle Bernstein is a big promoter in this field and an incredibly inspirational woman. Her words are making a huge impact everywhere.  Everyday, I’m seeing more posts from people like them. They are actively encouraging all of us to appreciate our surroundings and be grateful for what we have in our lives at this moment.

It’s about accepting what we have, such as our friends, family, or fur-babies in our lives. Even though I may not have much in the fridge or my bank account, I’m deeply grateful for the coffee, my purring fur-babies sitting on my lap right now, a safe place to live in with amazing neighbours, and a beautiful view of the maple trees outside. I feel very blessed to be able to listen to talented singers like Enrique Iglesias and George Michael, they help keep me grounded and elevate my mood when I need it. 

Through Gabrielle’s wise words, I’m learning to let go of anger and resentment. I have to, otherwise my past experiences would eat at my soul. I’m taking the time to focus more on compassion and seeing the world through a different light. Some days are more difficult than others, especially when the physical pain tries to overwhelm my mind. I’ve also learned a hard lesson about retaining onto anger or negativity. Strange things seem to happen. One time, I was so frustrated about a situation that I literally yelled towards heaven in anger. The next day, I found objects that were normally hanging on the wall, on the floor. It was the weirdest thing I’d seen. There was no physical way for them to simply to fall down and the nail was still firmly embedded in the wall. That’s when I knew that somehow, my negative energy caused that happen. The way we react really does have consequences. This was an important lesson for me to learn.

Interestingly, I’m currently reading a biography of George Michael by Rob Jovanovic. It’s mind boggling in terms of how much turmoil he went through in his life to achieve the remarkable level of success he attained. He worked extremely hard but had to give up his privacy and freedom for being in the public eye, and had a difficult time revealing his true sexuality. But he kept persevering by following his passion for writing and singing his music. That’s what kept him so strong. As I continue to read his story, my heart breaks for him. I feel his pain. I can relate to him in so many ways (ie: death of his mother). Despite all of this heartache, I am so thankful that he left a remarkable legacy for us to enjoy. Being grateful for things like this makes it even more special to me. 

Speaking of compassion, a few weeks ago when I was out shopping for groceries, I offered a lady to take her cart back to the store. She adamantly refused, saying that she needed the change. This was one of those carts where you had to pay $1 to use it. While I thought that her behaviour was odd, I wasn’t offended or angry in anyway. I was more curious about her reaction. The next time I went shopping at that store, a young mother was more than happy to give me her cart. I offered her some change and she said it was free. Talk about fate playing a kind hand here. I paid that forward to the next person as I left the store. 

As part of this positive movement, I’ve been designing inspirational art and sharing it on Instagram and Facebook. I do this to stimulate my creativity, and it’s a joy to inspire so many others in the process. Even though my life is very different these days, I’m still learning how to heal myself from within and grow from these experiences. There has been a renewed sense of hope, and faith in my ability to keep moving forward.

In : August 2018 

Tags: "gabrielle bernstein" "george michael" "russell brand" faith 
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