Rollercoaster / by Anita Cheung

It’s incredible how quickly your mind can turn against you. The most important thing I’ve learned is not to ride the rollercoaster of emotions. Tonight, I suddenly found myself spiraling down into the biggest pity party for myself, ever. I remember talking with a hairdresser once and she said “Facebook is so fucked. One minute you’re checking out your friend’s vacation photos while on your laptop in your living room, and the next thing you know, you’re scrolling through photos of your ex’s new girlfriend. WHAT IS SHE DOING IN MY LIVING ROOM??”  That was over four years ago and it seems nothing’s changed.

 

Social media isn’t real life. If you haven’t seen this video before, check it out below-

 

For me, tonight I went from:


 “Man she’s really pretty (random instagram chick)”    to..
“she lives a SICK life!”     to…
“she isn’t the only one living a sick, beautiful life. (looks at other random instagram chicks)”     to...
“Man, life would be so much easier if I was beautiful”    to...

“I’m not beautiful.”    To…
“I’m not beautiful. I lose at life.”

 

Okay so that's a bit dramatic and it sure escalated quickly. And maybe it's partially influenced by my "moon cycle" (sorry, TMI). Still, I HATE that it affects me.  Somewhere in my mind, I KNOW that we all put our best face forwards on social media. I KNOW that.  I know that like I know my name, my address, and my birthday. Yet somehow the negative thoughts still creep in.

Before I dive into anything- let me just throw this out there that I hate all this hype about Beauty. What isn’t fed, will wither. So let’s all stop feeding the talk about beauty, shall we? “Real Beauty”, or fake beauty, whatever.  It doesn’t matter. Why is a woman’s worth dependent on whether or not someone thinks she’s beautiful (conventionally or otherwise). I’m digging movements that are pushing women to strive to be something else… like… innovative, ambitious, and intelligent. Alas, another conversation for another time. Anyway, I digress- 


misscongenality.jpg

My entire life I’ve been told from my mother- “Life is fair. Just because you aren’t beautiful, you’re smart and you have other things going on for you.”
It’s always felt like a consolation prize. The “Miss Congeniality” to the “Miss Universe”. And here’s the kicker- As I’m sure we’ve all realized, life ISN'T fair. The conventionally beautiful girl can also be absolutely brilliant and the sweetest person you’ve ever met. And you know what? We live with the cards we are dealt. Sure there is some upward (or downward) mobility; however, the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” holds true. What’re you going to do with a bunch of lemons? Can’t eat them. Nope. So you make lemonade. It’s for YOU. No one cares about your lemons or your lemonade. But because you’ve now turned your inedible lemons into something tasty and delicious, you can feel good about yourself and feel good in general. And isn’t that what we all want at the root of it all? To feel good and to feel happy?

So it is a consolation prize. But only if you see it that way. 
Just as your mind can turn against you, you can turn things right back in your favour. Maybe your goal the entire time was to win Miss Congeniality. It’s about making a conscious shift. And yes, it’s work- No one said it’s easy. Lasting happiness isn’t a quick-fix. It’s not something you buy or some goal you achieve. It’s making the decision to be your own number one fan, all the time. For better or for worse. It’s a commitment to choose happiness. Once you trust in yourself to be your own number one fan, you’ll be amazed at the leaps and bounds you can make. One of the learnings from an interview I listened to during Mindful May  talked about how when we are self-compassionate, we automatically feel safer. And when we feel safer, we are more likely to be creative and productive. So if anyone calls you out for being deluded (or any other namecalling) for doing this conscious shift business- fuck them. Just kidding, that’s not very “yogic” of me. They can mind their own lives and mind their own thoughts.

Image from a rad Aussie-based initiative determined to fight the stigma of Depression & other "funks". They're called-  One Wave is All it Takes. 

Image from a rad Aussie-based initiative determined to fight the stigma of Depression & other "funks". They're called-  One Wave is All it Takes. 

So how do we make lemonade? Well, I can only tell you what’s worked for me. As I mentioned earlier, I still get negative thoughts. I am FAR from perfect and I am still victim to caring about what other people think sometimes. At least, until I catch myself for having silly thoughts. Just earlier today, before posting about MOMENT on instagram, I thought- wait.. will people think I’m less dedicated to C(OM)MUNITY if I do this? Will people judge me and say I’m spreading myself too thin and thus I can’t be good at anything?

 

These stories we tell ourselves, this inner monologue is non-stop.  It chatters away, day in and day out. The only reprieve we get is when we’re asleep and then we’re just simply unconscious. No fun. During waking hours, the best way to stop this monologue is to consciously silence it.  That is, to “catch yourself having silly thoughts”. Through meditation, we learn to notice it for what it is- Some voice in our head that ISN’T US! We are not our thoughts. Let me say that again.-We.  Are. Not.  Our.  Thoughts. They will come and they will go. Don’t let them take you for a ride. 

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Side Note: Of course, after finishing this post, I received my Daily Truthbomb from Danielle Laporte which said the following: 

How fitting. 

 

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