Movie Recommendation: Violet
When a friend recommended I watch the movie Violet, I knew exactly which film she was referring to. I'd been interested in it because I'd heard the lead character struggles with anxiety and intrusive thoughts.
Other than knowing the movie dealt with anxiety, I really didn't know what to expect when I put it on. Within the first few minutes, the film showed how Violet struggles with a stream of negative internal dialogue all day. It is constant. And it is jarring.
In all honesty, it made me uncomfortable at times. Not because what she was thinking was outrageous and unbelievable - but because it was so BELIEVABLE. A large amount of things she thought I think myself. To hear my own thoughts being spoken out loud, and seeing the impact and pain they cause, was both captivating and unnerving.
However, seeing those thoughts made manifest on Violet was not all bad. In fact, there was something deeply reassuring about knowing I'm not the only one who thinks stuff like that. Because my negative thoughts are so vicious, they feel specific to me, which makes them seem true. My stream goes something like You're a loser, no one actually believes in you, people pretend to respect you but they really think you're worthless. But... if everyone has similar thoughts, then they aren't really specific to me. We all learned the same bullshit, and it doesn't define a single one of us.
As the movie goes along, Violet begins to confront her thoughts. She begins taking steps to set herself free from the prison of self-attack. I don't want to tell you exactly what she does or how it unfolds, because I think it would be more powerful to see it for yourself.
If you struggle with anxiety, intrusive thoughts, fear, and/or low self-esteem, I highly HIGHLY recommend you watch this film. It had a profound effect on me, and has literally changed how I deal with my inner monologue. The movie is really well done, relatable, and in the end, will give you a sense of hope that maybe wasn't there before.
I rented the movie for $4.99 on Redbox, and when I looked for it, I also saw it available to rent on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.
After you watch it, come back and do the meditation I made that was inspired by the movie. It's all about finding your true, loving inner voice. The one that resides below the stream of negative self-talk, which we usually can't hear because the negative voice is talking over it. This meditation will help you to hear what your inner self ACTUALLY wants to say to you, and how loving and supportive it really is.
Violet stars Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, and Luke Bracey. It was written and directed by Justine Bateman. Quick summary: Violet realizes that her entire life is built on fear-based decisions, and must do everything differently to become her true self.
Heal your critical inner voice with this guided meditation. It's donation based and I welcome you to leave what feels right to you.
About 9 months ago, I downloaded the Lumenate App after seeing it shared on Rosamund Pike's Instagram page. I was super curious about this app that could simulate psychedelic experiences with just a cellphone flashlight and a dark room.
I absolutely loved the app, and have been using it in different ways ever since (the sleep feature was surprisingly effective!). You can read my review and initial reflections on it here.
Ever since I saw the feature that allowed you to play your own music or guidance, I wanted to create my own inner guided journeys. I wanted to discover different ways of exploring my subconscious with this app. This week, I was finally able to do this, and I'm super excited to share the two guided audios I made with you!
You will find that these guided experiences enhance and expand your Lumenate experience. They are very different from what the app currently offers. Therefore, they are not re-creations of what's already there, but rather, entirely new journeys that will unfold in unexpected ways, taking you down new channels of your mind.
Both of these guided experiences focus on what I use the app most for - creating a positive inner shift and uplifting my mood. I most often use the app when I'm feeling anxious, pessimistic, or depressed, and I created these experiences to help me shift and realign when I feel like I'm losing my inner balance. Additionally, you can use them at any time for a regular meditation session without the app.
Experience 1 - Soul Affirming Affirmations
The first experience is a series of positive, soul affirming affirmations and uplifting questions. These affirmations are designed to connect you to your cosmic self, to your eternal, Divine being. These affirmations will awaken you to your true, inner Self. You will feel empowered and expanded as you listen to them.
This experience also includes uplifting questions that will deepen your experience. These questions will allow you to reflect on who and what you really are. You will finish this experience with a profound sense of calm and inner knowing.
Experience 2 - Positive Visualizations
The second experience takes you through a series of positive visual suggestions. If you find your mind wandering while using the Lumenate app, this experience will help you to both focus and get the most out of your time using it.
As you are taken through the visual suggestions, allow yourself to let go and just go with what's happening. The experience will build on itself, and without any effort, you will find yourself in a deep part of your subconscious. You will have access to new insights, healing, and the part of you that feels awe and joy at being alive.
These positive visuals are designed to both tune you into a deep sense of appreciation for life and to stimulate your connection to something bigger. It's a really fun experience and will show you that there really are unlimited ways to use the Lumenate app.
Both of these guided experiences are 20 minutes long. The music I used is different than what the Lumenate app uses, so you want to go into it without expectation. As I said before, this is not a recreation of what's already on the app, but rather, something completely new.
You can use each one with your preferred experience (meditative, relaxed, or intense). In order to use them, open the app and go to the section "Open Explorations". Scroll over to "Choose Your Own Soundtrack." Once you've chosen your preferred sequence, hit play, then yes on you have an intention, and then start the guided audio from your music player.
You can download your guided audio mp3s to your phone or play them from the Gumroad app. Each of my experiences plays music for 40 seconds before beginning, which will allow you time to get back to the Lumenate app before any words are spoken. After starting your music, hit play on the Lumenate app and enjoy!
If you have any questions or problems, feel free to email me at email@example.com
I can't wait for you to try these new experiences and for you to discover new ways of exploring your subconscious! I'm planning to create more experiences for the Lumenate app, and you will automatically get any new audios I create. They will be bundled together, and you will have lifetime access to all current and future audios.
Once you've tried these new experiences, let me know what types of guided experiences YOU would like to try next!
Lumenate Guided Experiences
• 20 minute mp3s
• Guaranteed free access to all new additions
• Release anxiety, stress, and negativity
• Use for meditation and relaxation
Sometimes, when I'm struggling with my sense of self-esteem, I begin to think of my accomplishments, good things I've done, positive things people have said to me, and so on. I was doing this tonight as I thought about who I am and where I'm at in life. I was navigating waves of doubt and insecurity.
Who are you to feel important in this world? What have you done to earn that?
And then I wondered... why do I feel I have to think of what I've done or am doing in order to feel my existence is valid and worthy? Have I ever felt a wild flower needs to prove it belongs in this world?
Just think of it - you are walking through a field and suddenly you come upon a glorious yellow buttercup. It has brightened the field and thereby brightened your day. Even better, nobody planned for this flower to be here. It arose from a mysterious and far-reaching chain of events that is part of the ongoing web of Earth life. The fact that you crossed paths with this flower is quite literally a cosmic miracle.
As you gaze upon this flower, do you wonder what it's doing with its life?
Do you wonder if it's actually earned that sunshine it is so freely soaking up? Do you ask yourself if this flower truly deserves, above all other existing and potential flowers, to be pulling in nutrients from the earth? Has this flower done anything special to be worthy of your attention and praises???
I mean, who does this flower think it is!
It would be strange and even depressing to put all of that on a flower, which is valid and important simply because it exists. We intuitively know this, and we allow this knowing to extend to all of the natural world.
We do not question if a moose is living up to its potential. We do not wonder if that hawk soaring in the sky is trying to find its purpose in life. We just know that they are here, and we are so glad they are.
Even the mosquitoes, which literally feed off of other living things, they actually do the opposite of contribute or work hard or share loving kindness, are things we know that do not have to ask our permission or approval to be. We are free to swat them to their death, but don't expect that mosquito to apologize to you or anyone or anything about who it is and what it's done (or not done) with its life. The mosquito knows what created it is something beyond you, and therefore, it owes you no explanation, not even a "thanks for the blood!"
And how wonderful to know that is true of you and I also.
We are also a part of the natural world, even if it seems our world has somehow removed itself. This separation is only an illusion.
Your body is nourished by the the water of the earth. The food you eat, which creates your body, was grown in this planet's rich, musky soil. That sunshine that is so vital to all of plant life is vital to you also. You are a natural part of this world, and whoever you are, wherever you are, the only person you must explain yourself to... is no one.
You are valid because you were created and you exist. You are a wildflower in the sea of stars we call the Milky Way.
You, with every breath you take, are deserving and important. You are a gift from a higher consciousness, and that divine, mystical energy is a part of you right now. It may seem your life is as random as a leaf on a tree, but the thing is, no leaf is random. Each leaf ensures a delicate balance is achieved on each branch.
Sometimes, I will feel that I am valid because I believe in kindness. I boost my self-esteem by reminding myself I am a loving person.
But even this is putting parameters and limits on what is important in this world. Who am I to say anger and angry people are less valid than I? And what about sad people? I used to be the saddest of them all. I was so depressed I scared the people closest to me. Would I, even for a second, consider that version of myself less valid, less worthy of the sunshine that radiates down? Of course not. Not even for a millisecond.
The same is true for other people who I don't always believe are acting in ways I wish they would. There are people who hurt me deeply in the past, and those very people were some of my biggest catalysts to get me to ask deeper questions, to seek what would ultimately become a path of meditation, curiosity and expansion of consciousness. I cannot say they are less worthy or less valid in their journey than I.
They are the leaf on the opposite side of the branch.
We may grow in opposite ways, but we also seek a certain harmony, a certain balance, a certain cohesion that often exists in a greater understanding than I usually look at them with.
And so today, I ask you to try, for the whole day, not to validate your existence.
Do not feel you must justify who you are or where you are. Wherever you are, there you are, and thank you for being there. You don't need to win awards or promotions or even be considered a good person in order to feel perfectly content about being there. All you must do is turn your face up to the sky, feel the sun upon it, and know that what you feel and how you feel about yourself is between you and your cosmic creator.
If you could use more encouraging words like this, try the Spiritual Tools for Healing Anxiety and Depression package. It's a comprehensive package with a powerful workbook, guided meditations, and empowering visualizations. You won't find anything like it anywhere else!
When it comes to imposter phenomenon, or as it's more commonly known, "imposter syndrome", I often feel a sense that someone else belongs more than me. For example, with these meditations, I will often feel someone has done it better or will do it better, and I just don't belong in the arena at all.
I feel like I should be on the outside, looking in at the people who are doing it right. I feel as if I'm going to be grabbed by my shoulders, shaken, and demand an explanation as to why I thought I, of all people, believed I was good enough to do this.
The funny thing is, I don't ever fear this should happen to other people. I don't question if other people should make meditations or workbooks. I don't question if they're valid. It's as if this only applies to me, and I'm the only fraudulent person in a sea of qualified "real" people.
The even funnier thing is, nearly everyone else feels this way too. So if we all feel like we're the imposter, and surely everyone else is good enough, where exactly are all these so-called overly qualified people?
The topic of imposter phenomenon came up for me today as I listened to a podcast on NPR. As they said, it was originally coined as "imposter phenomenon" and not syndrome, because syndrome applies it's something that can be diagnosed and cured.
Does that mean there's no cure to this often-times crippling feeling? At the time time, no. There's no cure. But there are tools a person can learn to manage it. And if you can manage it, you can still go after all those goals and dreams.
What really helped me, was to reshift what I wanted my end result to be. I let go of the need to be perfect (which is really a need to avoid criticism), and let the new goal to be satisfied. Now, my goal is not to be perfect. Or to be the best. Or to arrive knowing everything. My goal is to do a good job, and to know I did the best I could.
This sounds simple, but it really did feel like a huge weight fell off as I thought about it. Once I let go of perfectionism, and gave myself permission to aim for my own self-defined version of complete, I felt much freer and lighter. I also felt as if I was operating within realisitic parameters, and not setting myself up for failure.
And I believe it's this fear of falling short of perfect that leads to the feeling of being an imposter. I have let go of the need to show up being the best, because honestly, what is the point of life if I start at the finish line? I'm now giving myself permission to grow and learn and explore my creations through my own unique learning process. And through that process, I have no doubt I'll create far better work than anything I would've done that was "perfect."
I've put the episode of NPR below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Navigating My Anxiety
Lately, I've been waking up with a nervous-anxious feeling. I wakeup, and I feel overwhelmed with a sense of things being out of control. I get butterflies in my stomach and my heart starts to pound, and I feel this weight come over me. This is something I've struggled with all my life, but I had done enough work that I began to wakeup calm and ready for the day ahead. I'm disappointed the anxiety is back so fully, and going to journal and reflect later on why it's happening again.
But even without sitting with the feeling, I have an idea of why it's here. I just don't believe in myself. I start doubting myself and my abilities, and that spirals me into a place of total fear. I begin worrying about everything, and I get lost in my endless thoughts of all the things that can go wrong. And thus, I wakeup nervous, uncertain of myself or this world.
One of the ways I know of that helps me to soothe the fear is to put my hands on my heart, close my eyes, and take some deep breaths. It's a simple action, but it can really do a lot to reduce the intensity of the feelings.
If you're struggling with anxiety, doubt, fear, depression, or any other negative feelings, please know you are not alone! We all lose sight of how incredible and capable we are at times, but it doesn't mean we're going to be lost forever. We just need a light to guide us back to our true self.
For help tuning into your own inner guidance and light, you might like my daily meditation podcast. It's a way to have daily moments of calm, surrender, and inner peace. You can follow this series by finding your favorite podcast app here. I welcome you to try your first meditation right here!
Succulents = Happiness
If I could snuggle up anywhere for a while, it would be the succulent area of Home Depot. Every time I go there, I fall in love with every little plant. They are all so sweet and happy looking, and I want to keep them all together like a family. So if I buy one, I have to buy at least one more to keep it company.
At this time, I have 11 succulents. Some might say that's a lot. But others (and you are my people), would say that's only the beginning of a collection. So far I have been filling pots I decorated with one plant each. But I'm starting to feel ready to get a big pot or basket and make an arrangement.
Do you decorate with succulents? What are your favorite combinations for big pots? While I experiment and learn, here's a great video I found from someone who loves succulents as much as I do (and knows how to care for them)!
Hi, Melissa here! Welcome to my website! Here you'll find guided meditations, inspiration, uplifting content, and more. I invite you to get cozy, relax, and stay as long as you like.
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