STIMULATION VS CONNECTION
We have access to instant stimulation through online shopping, online dating, interactions on social media and much more. This type of access gives us the ability to become almost hypnotized to the highs and lows of it’s doing. Has stimulation become the cornerstone of our interactions?
I like to describe stimulation as a spark of sensation created by something outside of ourselves. Dictionary.com defines it as, “the action of arousing interest, enthusiasm, or excitement”. If we notice closely, we can see that stimulation places us as the receiver of energy. At our fingertips we have access to stir up emotions we wish to feel in our bodies. Whether that is to affirm what we don’t like or validate what we want, we are merely a sponge experiencing the process of soaking up all this energy. Overtime we become familiar with the reactions it stirs in our bodies and because we like it, we stay in the current, like the turtles in Finding Nemo. In the events we find ourselves away from that current of stimulation, we feel an abrupt halt and we feel dazed like we are coming out of a trance. We feel this decrease of stimulation and we are tempted to swim back in the current. Stimulation provides this sense of comfort because we are creatures that believe if we are receiving energy, we are significant. I fear that stimulation has been replaced by our effort to truly connect. Are we getting stimulation and connection confused?
There is talk about having more than 5 senses but the basics are sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. A book I enjoy reading, “Essentials of Psychology”, mentions how our senses increase and decrease in tolerance. Once you have gotten used to a level of stimulation through one of your senses, it requires more of it to feel the same type of reaction. We are adaptive beings that can adjust our tolerance levels to mold into our environment and survive. This leads to a thought of how people can get lost in the cycle of dating multiple people for short periods at a time. I don’t mean getting to know people in order to find a potential match to date. I mean the quick turn around it takes for a person to break things off with someone they are dating to then dating someone new. The end of dating someone leads to a decrease of happy chemicals in our body therefore one is tempted to find stimulation through someone else. We may not realize that we tend to drive relationships through stimulation rather than connection. Our senses may be useful to point us in the direction of a potential connection but in order to connect, it requires people who are willing to engage in a way that many find unfamiliar.
Let's talk about intimacy. “In an intimate interaction, partners reveal their private selves to one another, sharing parts of themselves that are ordinarily hidden” Encyclopedia.com. Intimacy is an exchange of giving and receiving our depths to one another. Unlike stimulation, intimacy doesn’t just happen, it unfolds gracefully among people who are willing to serve. You can’t just be a sponge and soak up all the energy, you must be proactive in the process. Intimacy takes effort but not effort to where it’s forced, this effort naturally grows momentum through people that intuitively want to connect. I say intuitively to acknowledge this mystery that leads people to connect with others whether it is platonically or romantically. When we connect with others around us, we feel refreshed, inspired and our insight of life may even become elevated. We feel as though we were meant to connect with others because it is in our nature to do so. Stimulation does not require us to be present but in order for us to reach a connection we must be. When two or more givers come ready to serve one another, this creates intimacy and that is to truly connect.
MESSAGE FROM VICTORIA GOLD
I challenge us that in everything we do, we look for ways to be of service. When we create the opportunity to serve, we create opportunities to connect.
Peace & Love be with you all and remember, I'm only a message away.
THE SEASON OF SPRING IN OUR LIFE
Roses bloom, eggs hatch, the clouds begin to appear and disappear with no consistent pattern. The sun emerges in the sweetest moments as though to remind us that a new season has begun. How does spring show up in our life?
Whether it may be animals, trees or plants, they all go through a period of transition and it holds purpose. Bears come out of hibernation and go through a period where they start to increase their intake of food and water to get their energy levels up. Trees also come out of a dormant season where they have stopped all reproduction to survive winter and go into their phase of regrowth. If there are phases ending and starting in nature, what should we end or start in our lives to propel us towards the new season? When we have to end or start something new that requires us to change, we must allow a flow of transition. I know transitions are not easy, it calls for a process of change from one state to the other. I’ve personally made the observation that in the generation we are living in, we’re afraid of change. We glorify independence and I wonder if that is so that we can justify our low-tolerance to cut off anything or anyone that brings about change. We pride ourselves in the access to an immense amount of options and we choose the next best thing so that we can avoid change. This truth humbles me in realizing our arrogance and ignorance of the fact that we are robbing ourselves from experiences because of our lack of practicing the process of transition. Every season has its time of transition and Spring has its own purpose for it.
LET IT BLOOM
Nature around us understands the start of new beginnings. It doesn’t hesitate nor does it fear the unknown of these beginnings. It doesn’t think of these new beginnings as outside of itself but rather takes ownership in the process. It emerges itself and continues this cycle every time spring comes around. As humans, we tend to lean towards the blooming of new chapters that we like and we do our best to close ourselves off from anything new that we don’t like. Whether at first sight we like it or not, many of us forget that life knows the balance we need in our lives. New chapters require new perspectives and this could be extremely challenging for many of us because it requires us to leave behind something we were so used to. Not letting these changes bloom can cause us to, again, rob ourselves from life’s genius-ways to balance us for a new journey. We pray to God/higher power to take us to new horizons yet we don’t like what we must allow to bloom in our life so we don’t and we stay dormant to the same level we are in. What must we allow to bloom in our life to take us to a new horizon?
THE SEASON OF SERVICE
The season of Spring reminds me that life is much bigger than us, that it’s a season of service. Momma bears know that this season calls her to increase her energy levels because she has cubs to feed. Nature like trees, grass and all that is green around us understands that it must keep up with the work of growth so that it may give new homes for animals. It grows not for itself but to provide great homes to life around it. What kind of growth are you focused on? Is your growth just enough for you? Does your growth only serve you? Does your growth give life to all the areas of your life or just to one or two streams in your life? Can the growth you are focused on overflow to give life to others? I myself have come to learn that my growth can’t be about me but about how it will give a fruitful life to those coming after me. I pray God can use me to bear good fruit for others like God uses a tree.
MESSAGE FROM VICTORIA GOLD
I hope we can go through this season understanding that life will ask us to grow in ways we may have never thought of before. I hope we can grow the humility it will take to be obedient to these invitations, trusting that life is asking us to be a source of providing life to others. I pray you take the time to reflect and evaluate the season of spring in your life. If you’d like for me to hold space with you and have a conversation about this, I’m only a message away.
Peace and Love be with you always!
WHICH SHOULD WE FOLLOW ?
There’s a sweet and addictive rush we experience when we meet people we have a romantic-connection with. We think about them, we want to spend time with them and we smile when we see their names pop up on our phone. We follow this rush into the abyss, we start to create routines together and we start to picture a life with them until.... IT happens. We start to realize the incompatibility in the connection.
THE MIND’S GIFT OF CLARITY
The mind doesn’t always lead us to clarity and I think we all know that but the mind does have a gift of doing so if we can learn to navigate it. It can assist the process of evaluating several choices so that we may make wise decisions. Our mind helps us if we help it. It has the ability to keep us focused in any area of our life if we create a strong foundation to pull us back in alignment. If we don’t build a foundation, which I have come to know as my blueprint, we will become distracted and settle for anything that makes us feel good. This foundation consists of our values, standards and boundaries. I highly encourage all of us to take time to sit down, write these out, make a commitment to stay true to our foundation and elevate it as time goes on. Elevating a foundation requires humility to the fact that life is an unfolding mystery and we must understand we will evolve as we experience it. This evolution often only makes our foundation clear and stronger, but there are times we completely stray away from it which will lead us to feeling confused and lost. These are the moments we go back to square one, write our foundation and reflect whether we have been prioritizing our life through it. Sometimes, it also calls for a new blank slate to undo a foundation that was never genuine to our truth to begin with. The mind has its purpose and it’s meant to be used as a tool in times where our heart’s desires are in contradiction to our foundation.
THE HEART’S GIFT OF ROMANCE
When looking up definitions for romance, there were a lot of perspectives that caught my eye but I wanted to find the most simplistic and base definition. At the very root, romance is merely a combination of excitement and mystery. Chemistry is the initial spark of the momentum of a romance. Many may say the heart is a fool for love but the heart has its way of making us feel hope through its desire for romance. Dr. Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist who mentioned in his Podcast, “Neuroscience meets Psychology”, a study in the 1960s, where people were given the option to stimulate different areas of their brain in the clinic. Although they all chose to evoke an array of stimulations, the area they preferred the most was the stimulation that evoked, as Dr. Huberman said, “mild frustration and anticipation that something good was about to happen” which later in the podcast, Psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson referred to it as hope. They finish this topic by saying that hope is what moves us forward and the most powerful stimulation in the brain. Romance is not something to take lightly, it has the power to propel us towards someone or something without it actually being of benefit to us. Romance is a force that when used unintentionally, can lead us to foolish decisions in our love-life. When intentionality is met with romance, it can do wonders to propel us forward towards a relationship we remain devoted to.
HOW DO WE USE BOTH?
I reflect on this question and realize how crucial they both are. Being able to touch on their individual gifts and how they bring meaning to each other. They are tools for us to use but it’s up to us to use them intentionally or unintentionally. We can think of them as opposing ideas that cause a chaotic inner-battle. We can also learn from each and recognize them as a duo that help create harmony in our love-life. I personally choose to respect the heart’s force of romance while honoring the mind’s ability to bring clarity.
MESSAGE FROM VICTORIA
I hope we all create space to have honest conversations about how we’ve been using the mind and the heart in our life. If you’d wish for support through this process, I’m only a message away using the “contact” tab. Peace and love be with you always.
May 02nd, 2023
Maintaining a high-self esteem is a practice. There isn’t a pill to miraculously make you feel better about yourself. Being insecure also doesn't have to look ugly per say. There’s this exaggerated view on what being insecure looks like. Whether it’s the overly jealous person, or the overly sensitive person, it doesn’t always look this way. Sometimes the people we love may tell us their perspective on our life which doesn’t always feel so good and we focus on what they said for the next few days. Other times, we may get rejected by that cute guy or girl for reasons that also don’t feel good and that only adds to the distraction of our focus. Notice I keep using the word, focus?
I love to best describe focus as the dominant place we are placing our energy. This is highly important because our behaviors, mannerisms, habits, and thoughts can all be influenced by where we focus our energy. If our focus is repeatedly directed towards something that doesn’t make us feel good, it can eventually make us insecure. I remember being in my head about something an ex said to me and for months I was distracted by this not so good impression of me. I walked around with a defensive attitude and it made me critical towards others because a criticized person can become critical towards others. Soon, I didn’t feel like myself and it affected my self-esteem greatly. I noticed that what was affecting me was an idea that someone else had of me and it was limiting the way I was expressing myself. Once I was able to see this, I knew I had to take some time to sit down and redirect my energy. So, after being criticized and rejected, what do we focus our energy on?
REFLECTING AND RE-EVALUATING EFFECTIVELY
There is an effective and destructive way to do this. There were times I would over think and over analyze situations. I’d vent on and on in my own mind with no purpose! This can only stimulate more frustration and create behaviors that aren’t beneficial. The best way in my opinion to be effective at this is to write things out. Don’t get overwhelmed by thoughts and memories in your mind that validate insecurities, especially since these thoughts happen faster than you can write! This is why I suggest slowing down and writing the ideas that you think have been affecting you. This is the best way to govern your mind and redirect the reflection process. Start to read it over and pick out the dominant patterns you may see and start asking yourself questions. Reflection isn’t just thinking about what has happened but rather seeking answers to the mysteries in our insecurities. If you have trouble finding questions, sit down with a professional to guide this process. Once we detect what has been affecting us, we must start to re-evaluate. Before reflecting, we evaluate that something is off, then after reflecting we evaluate a second time with a new perspective. There may be truth to the ideas we were criticized for and insecure about that may help us improve how we are coming across to others around us. This will be the moment we consciously decide on how we want to express ourselves rather than being the byproduct of these insecurities.
Dating securely takes constant adjusting and aligning just like a chiropractor would. Just because we went into the relationship secure, doesn’t mean that it will remain that way, it takes work to maintain it. Remember we also need to take a step back to find out if these insecurities are constantly coming from our partner, this isn’t healthy. If we are constantly re-aligning ourselves because we have a careless partner, it’s best to step away from the relationship after attempts in trying to work things out. If we have communicated to our partner how we’ve been feeling due to their actions or words and it continues, I would personally suggest stepping away and leaving the relationship for your sanity. Sometimes it’s not that this partner is manipulative but simply that you both don’t align in the ways you feel you should guard the stability of the relationship. Dating securely is a practice and I hope we prioritize it while we experience the world around us.
MESSAGE FROM VICTORIA
I hope this entry was helpful and that you may apply it when you feel you need it. If you’d like support, remember I am only a message away on the ‘contact’ tab of the website!