I'm Ready.

a blog by Christina Bradley


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The Beauty of Nature

fall

East Rock Park – Photo by Xun Wang (http://www.xunwang.me/landscape/)

So, I had an amazing experience yesterday; one that completely changed my day. Yesterday was a beautiful fall day in New Haven. A perfect breeze with just enough sun that wearing shorts and a shirt was comfortable. Out of nowhere I decided to go on my first run at Yale this year and I am so thankful that I made that decision.

Living in a city, I often feel cooped up and claustrophobic. I try to take the time to appreciate the beautiful architecture around me (because believe me, there is no scarcity of that here) but on a beautiful fall day like yesterday, I long for nature. Nature affects us like nothing else can. It brings us back to our roots and makes us appreciate the simple things in life. It has the tendency of catching us at moments where we are just going though the motions of life. Seeing a bright red tree after walking out the the library. Being hit by beautiful rays of light that peek through the leaves as you rush home.

Yesterday, I was hit full force by the beauty of nature and at a time I was most longing for it. As I ran, I saw the beautiful colored trees around me releasing their leaves on the lawns of the houses I passed. Finally, I hit East Rock Park (which is a place I have heard of but have never taken the time to visit) and I was suddenly overwhelmed by the glimmering water and the amazing smells of fall. The force of this beauty caused me to stop and take a slow walk along the river. I just took it all in, being so grateful to have found this magical spot.

Nature has a way of changing us, I truly believe that. If you are ever feeling sad, or lonely, or just out of sorts (because we all have those days) maybe try getting yourself outside even if it’s just for a few minutes. The silence and beauty of being with nature often calms me down and helps me see the brighter side of life.

I would love to hear any thoughts you have about how nature affects you.

Enjoy Fall!


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For Every Dream There is Resistance

“Our greatest battle is to become ourselves in the face of adversity” –  Steven Pressfield

This afternoon I watched an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday which was an interview with Steven Pressfield who is the author of The War of Art. His book is about how to follow your dreams and be yourself even in the face of resistance. Their conversation was about how resistance is always present while reaching for your dreams. It is like yin and yang, light and dark.

However, many of us don’t realize the presence of resistance, we just push our dreams off because we feel uncomfortable. Pressfield and Oprah discuss that once we name that discomfort as resistance we can defeat it. Oprah said that “your will or desire HAS to be stronger than resistance” in order for you to move beyond and follow your bliss.

This episode particularly struck me today because lately I have been struggling with the idea of my future as many college students do. College is full of dos and don’ts; it is full of expectation. Expectations to gain skills and prepare yourself so that you can make a lot of money and find a good job. I wonder sometimes if I am doing the right things and if I’m doing enough. The unknown is a very scary place especially when you step outside the norm.

I want to have a happy life which is one of my reasons for writing this blog. Because of this dream, I have made choices this Fall that scare me. Changing my major, trying new things, and now looking forward to a future which is very vague. I now see that my discomfort is resistance and I also now notice that this resistance is natural when we take steps to follow our dreams and step outside the box. Last year I took classes and chose a major which would set me up for a very comfortable life. I have now made the decision to take a risk, change my major, and do pursue what I love… this is very scary.

I think that it is important for all of us to realize resistance will be there no matter what and we just have to deal with it head on. I am very sure that there will be many moments of failure and doubt in my life but as Steven Pressfield said in his interview, these are the moments that move us to the next level.

I would love to hear your comments about resistance and any advice you have about meeting this discomfort!

Let’s take some risks no matter how small they are!

Giving is the Best Communication

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I don’t think that we ever realize how easy giving can be. I certainly miss many moments in which I could give and I don’t because I am not living in that present moment. This morning I watched a powerful short video that had a huge impact on me. We never know when a small act for someone could amount to something greater. As I thought about the message of this video, I tried thinking of instances in my life in which I could give even a small part of myself to make someone’s day a little better.

Within only a few minutes I had come up with many small ways of giving. We don’t need to give huge sums of money to charities or help homeless people to change the world. Yes, these are amazing acts but small steps are important too. I think that if each of us made the intention to try to make a few peoples’ days just a little bit better, the world would be a happier place.

Smile, open the door for someone, give a compliment, have a meaningful conversation with someone, sincerely ask someone a question and deeply listen to their response, call an old friend. It is easy and it takes only a little of yourself to do it but it is still giving. It just means that you have to make the small decision to put yourself out there. Let’s see if we can treat each other a little better and show some compassion just like the man did in this video.

And what do we get in return? A smile, a thank you, a friend, and in the case of this video for me, a couple of happy tears.

Have a great day of giving!


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Energy Designing

Hello again!

I took some time off from writing in order to transition into my new life as a sophomore at Yale. Its been both uncomfortable and comfortable; boring and exciting. I set the intention when I started this blog to post every week but I have decided to wait until I am called to write instead of forcing myself to.

Today I am called to write because of a show I just watched. Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday is by far my favorite show because she interviews people who are incredibly inspiring and I ALWAYS learn something from each episode no matter who is speaking. I HIGHLY recommend this show!

So today I watched Oprah’s interview with Nate Berkus who is a well-known interior designer who lost his partner in the terrible Tsunmai in 2004. After having the love of his life get torn away from him as they were swept away by the water and debris, everything in Nate’s life changed and he started listening to himself more deeply. One of the main points that I got from watching this show was that the space we live in should reflect who we are. Because Nate is able to see more clearly now, he tells us to ask ourselves if the space we design for ourselves is true to our being.

Moving into a new dorm has been exciting but also challenging because to create a space that reflects who you are takes a lot of inner listening. I agree with Nate that the design of a room can completely change the energy of the space. I have tried to make my new dorm a space of clean and happy energy so that it can help support that same energy in me.

Things don’t have to be important but they have the ability to represent larger ideas, energies, and emotions. We do not have to have a lot in order to create the energy we wish the space to hold. Nate Berkus advised that when we buy or acquire new items we need to take a moment and evaluate if they are going to help reflect who we are. If not, they are just another item to add to our materialist lives and clutter our energy.

Just something to think about 🙂

http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Nate-Berkus-Part-1-Video


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A Reminder To Wake Up

So I am headed to school right now and I’ve had a pretty turbulent morning that has highlighted a few things that I need to be aware of and work on this new year. I feel like I am growing and sometimes I get a little caught up and think that I am unstoppable. However, life doesn’t allow you to get away with that. Life isn’t just going to back off and let you run on ahead without all the necessary tools. We receive those necessary tools from life in the form of lessons realized after moments of inconvenience and struggle that are put there to help us wake up and see where we need to work.

This morning I woke up at 4 am for my 5:15 am train ride to soccer preseason believing that I was all packed and ready to go. I had not however, done the necessary things I needed to do to get out of the house on time… I had not printed my ticket, taken clothes out of the laundry, or switched my broken phone with my dad’s which I knew would take me some time. So, needless to say, I had not taken care of some pretty big things before I left.

So of course, because I had left these tasks until 4 am on the morning I was leaving, I was obviously extremely stressed and had stressed out my parents in the process. The printer was jammed so my ticket wouldn’t print, I had to completely switch phones with my dad, and we were already 15 minutes late getting out the door to catch a train that I would probably now miss. I was yelling, they were telling me what I should have taken care of yesterday, and my last view of my house was not a happy one.

After a summer of enormous growth and personal transformation, I had reverted back into my stressed, anxious, and immature state that I have never been proud of. I was very sad to see that side come back to life and see the terrible effects it had on the situation.

It was a wake up call from life to wake up. I felt the universe saying, “You won’t get away that easily. You thought you grew this summer? Well let’s see how you deal with this!”. It clearly and harshly showed me what I need to work on.

Thankfully, I made the train and thankfully, I have a working phone again. Now I sit here, with those troubles behind me and simply the memory of the situation. I am setting the intention to learn from my faults this morning and become an individual, prepare fully, relax, and trust.

Maybe we need these wake up calls sometimes before big transitions like going to college. Maybe they just show us where we are stuck and how we can grow. Life may give harsh reminders but it also allows for moments of clarity so that we can realize our faults and evolve.

I am so incredibly far from perfect and I know I will be receiving many more reminders. My intention is to try to smile through these moments and learn my lessons because sometimes we just have to laugh at what life throws at us.

I hope you enjoy learning from your wake up calls!

I will try to as well!


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My Inspiration

I feel that it is important to describe how my blog was inspired with my meeting with spiritual teacher Don Miguel Ruiz. This amazing man’s most famous book is The Four Agreements (which is described in this book section of the blog). I decided to read his enlightening book as I traveled to The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) conference in California which I attended this July. IONS studies consciousness and spirituality and their convergence with science. I have been interested in their work for many years now. This conference brought together some amazing speakers including Don Miguel.

I was part of a group of about 50 people under 40 years old who had attended the conference under a group called The Next Generation. All week we talked about how we were going to take action and spread the messages of consciousness and IONS as we are all excited about the study of consciousness as a growing field. I personally was both excited and confused about how I could take action and help spread the message. I was also unsure about if I was even ready to help spread it since I have kept what I have experienced to myself for so long.

On the last day of the conference, after Don Miguel’s talk, I passed him in the lobby and had an impulse to speak to him. People were taking pictures with him and and asking him complicated questions about his book. When it was finally my turn he simply looked into my eyes and then hugged me.

I had not planned anything to talk to him about but somehow words came out. I said “Thank you. I’m Ready.” I don’t know where these words came from but I knew that I truly meant them. He looked back into my watering eyes and said “Yes you are. Keep smiling”. We hugged, I walked away, and my life was changed. I knew I was now ready for anything. I was ready to spread the message. I knew this not because he told me I was ready but because in his presence I spoke those words from my heart and at that moment I knew they were true.


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I’m Ready

Okay. I finally think that I am ready. I’m ready to share what I’ve been learning. I have had some major transformations in my life lately and I feel like I am on a journey that is just beginning. I’ve never been a girl of many words and in the past I have not taken much action in sharing my story. But now I feel that it is the right time to share what others have shared with me and what I have learned along the way.

This is a blog will describe my journey towards happiness. I know I can be a little serious sometimes but my task the past year has been to let go.  I have been exposed to so many amazing people, books, movies, and tv shows that have opened my world up and have shown me different ways to let go and find peace.

There has been a lot of talk lately about how something is shifting in the world. Things can’t keep continuing to go the way they are going. Our environment is being destroyed and a large amount of people have become too attached to material possessions. We’ve swayed off what the true meaning of happiness is.

I have so much hope that we can turn things around and get people to come together. Personally, I am happiest when I feel deep connections with others. It doesn’t matter if its simply a genuine exchange of smiles with a stranger or a deep talk with a close friend. But I believe in order to have these amazing moments we have to be happy, clear, and mentally healthy.

So, I hope that what I share will help you find even more happiness in your life as it has for me!

Please comment and share your stories as well!

I’ll start with this: SMILE 🙂