It’s a beautiful Sunday and I’m feeling extremely grateful. I know my last blog was pretty intense and heavy, but the past few months have been an incredibly dark time for me. Fortunately, recently things have dramatically shifted in a positive direction. The new medication that I’ve switched to has started working, and I finally feel the anxiety and depression lifting. The interesting thing is that while the biological changes in my body are helping me feel more like my normal self, the negative thinking patterns haven’t automatically left me. I still have days where I can spiral if I succumb to the ruminating thoughts or listen to my harsh inner critic.
It makes me wonder if people with perfectionism are more susceptible to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. I hate my inner critic… it often tells me that I’m not good enough which is completely paralyzing. I want to be creative, to be myself, to allow my spirit to express itself in any way it wants to; but, this inner critic often swoops in to stop me dead in my tracks. I know that the inner critic is what...more
Trigger Warning: Anxiety, Depression, Suicide, Eating Issues, Mental Health
I don’t know who I am anymore. I was on the birth control pill for 12 years and ever since I got off the pill, I haven’t felt the same. I started experiencing intense mood swings, depression, and anxiety. In February, the anxiety escalated to a concerning level; I was experiencing panic attacks every week. These panic attacks interfered with my ability to function in daily life – I wasn’t sleeping well, I was hardly eating, constantly in fight-or-flight mode, and working became extremely difficult and draining because any ounce of stress easily triggered a panic attack.
I never dealt with excessive anxiety until my early twenties. In 2015, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and mild PTSD. I was in therapy, but I struggled with anxiety symptoms for 2 years, after which I became extremely depressed from having suffered for so long, and finally resorted to trying antidepressants. They helped tremendously for the anxiety and depression. I was on them for 6 months,...more
These last two months have been incredibly transformative and eye opening. Starting around December, I went through another major spiritual awakening. Things that had been buried in my subconscious began emerging to the forefront – through dreams, meditations, and even journaling.
I realized that I was still carrying some pain and shame from past traumatic experiences. I also realized that I’d really lost touch with my true essence – the person I was when I came into this world is very different than the person I’ve become. Experiences and the people around us play a part in shaping us and who we become; it’s a consequence of living this thing we call life. Sometimes, we stray so far from our original child essence that we can’t get it back—because we aren’t even aware that we’ve lost it. The conditioning and programming of “how we’re supposed live our life” runs so deep and is so engrained in our mentality that we are basically numb. Going through the motions of life and living within the constraints of society traps us in this cycle of being someone...more
Happy New Year! I’m kicking off 2022 with a new blog. Many people enjoy making resolutions or intentions for the year… but this year is the first year that I’m not doing that. I think calling attention to what you want to achieve or bring in to your life is actually an amazing and necessary task to do. But, if you’re anything like me, you’re already a person who sets goals for themselves regularly and is constantly thinking about the future and when those goals will come into fruition. For a lot of 2021, I was extremely unhappy because I was so hyper-focused on what I wanted and didn’t have yet in my life. My goals haven’t changed, so continuing to bring attention to them didn’t feel productive for me this year.
Over the holidays, while Matt and I were out of town visiting family I had the most amazing time. I wasn’t thinking about my to-do lists, my goals, what I was going to do next, etc. I slept the best I have probably in the entire year. I realized that the reason why I felt so happy and was able to finally get quality rest was because I was on pause. When I was away,...more
It’s been so long since I’ve written a Soul blog. I’ve really been wanting to for awhile, but I struggled with what I could write about. This section of my blog has always been the dedicated space for my personal life experiences. However, there are so many experiences that I go through that I feel I can’t share in one way or another. I hold a lot of fear that someone will read my words and interpret them in the wrong way. That somehow my blog could upset or offend somebody resulting in a negative outcome.
So I guess, being that we’re at the end of 2021, I’ll just write about my year without being too specific and hold hope that it resonates positively with those that read.
This year, was quite difficult for me in a lot of ways. I know most people thought 2020 was the worst year ever, but for me, this year as a whole was a lot harder. Albeit, it wasn’t worst year I’ve been through—the year I went through chronic health issues definitely takes the cake for that. But, this year was a year that I couldn’t escape negativity. The overall climate in the world has become...more
Here I am, writing my first soul blog in months. It never ceases to amaze me how going through emotional pain always leads me back to writing. The universe works in mysterious ways and I like to think that it puts me in certain situations on purpose to get me writing again. It almost makes the suffering I'm going through feel worthwhile.
Ever since COVID, I think that a lot of people have been going through the universal challenging experience of: life isn't going how I expected it to. And then, having to deal with the repercussions of that.. the disappointment, the frustration and the suffering that follows when life doesn't go as planned. For me personally, 2020 wasn't actually all that bad. Why? How can that be possible?
Well, after the initial shock and difficulty of going through the major changes that the pandemic brought about, it was as if something switched off in my brain, an automatic download of knowing- hey, life isn't going to go as expected right now, you need to roll with it and make the best of it. I didn't have the...more
I felt compelled to write on this topic because the other day I realized that for the first time since I graduated college six years ago, I finally feel at peace with where I am in my career. Throughout most of my twenties, I felt quite the opposite from this... I felt lost.
It felt like I was constantly searching for something that couldn’t possibly exist. Job after job, company after company, yet each time I’d always find that the job was so WRONG for me. All of these negative experiences lead me to believing this “story”, which I thought was very real and believed with every fiber of my being. Nonetheless, it was a story that my mind had written as our minds like to do.
The story was that I couldn’t ever find a job that wasn’t soul crushing or anxiety provoking, that would give me balance (boundaries separating work from down-time), AND decent pay. You may have a similar story, re-playing in your head that your mind has created based on some negative life experiences. Stories like, “You can’t quit your job; you won’t be able to survive if you leave.” Or “If you...more
Ever since my dog Ranger died, I’ve been getting these annoying styes on my eye. I never used to have a problem with these before. Just like anyone else, every now and then (maybe once a year, if that) I would get one. But, lately I’ve been having styes pop up every other week… and it’s always my right eye, never my left. This seemed strange to me. Based on past experiences that I’ve had, I’ve learned that recurring health issues stem from emotional causes. So, when these styes kept coming back and back again, I irritably resorted to looking at Louise Hay’s list of emotional causes for illness.
Next to “Sty”, it read: “Looking at life through angry eyes.” At first, I dismissed this information. I’m not angry, I thought, not anymore. In those first couple weeks after I first lost Ranger, sure I was. I was so angry that I would vent about the entire world around me and go on blood boiling rants. But, now?
Then, I reflected back on my patience...more
Life has its ups and downs, there’s no way of getting around that. I believe that life’s difficulties and setbacks happen to strengthen us, to help us grow, and to teach us lessons. We always have a choice in how we navigate through tough times. We can either strap in for the ride and realize that while we don’t have control over the terrain being bumpy, that we do have control on how we steer through the bumps on our journey; or we can choose to engage in resistance, complaining about the bumps, and continuing to look back through the rearview mirror, making us re-live each bump over and over again, instead of looking forward.
In 2015-2016, I went through long-term health problems. I was a completely different person back then and I would easily slip into a victim mentality. I constantly complained to anyone and everyone, I held resentment over why this was happening to ME, and I was always focused on all the negatives about my health. All of which kept me stuck in a cycle where I didn’t expect to get better or to heal, and life would only prove me right time and time...more
Recently, I asked my parents the question: what was I like when I was little, before I started going to school? I asked this question because when we are very young children, we are the most authentic, unaltered version of ourselves. This is because it is before we are truly integrated into society, before any conditioning or programming happens, and before life experiences begin to change or alter our personalities.
My dad said I was like “a ball of fire”. An unstoppable force… feisty, powerful, and extremely confident. When I see home videos of myself at 2 and 3 years old, I see that too. And, it caused me to wonder... what happened to that?
You see, I know that part of me is still within me. Some people still see that true essence of me, like when I’m with my family or my boyfriend… basically when I’m in situations where I feel that it’s “safe” to be ME. But, over the years, I’ve been in many situations (school, jobs, social settings) where I haven’t felt safe being me. Where I’ve felt unwelcomed when I was just being me. Where I’ve actually seen other people get...more
Recently, a very old wound was dredged up from the depths of my subconscious. I had been feeling extremely insecure and I notice that my insecurities seem to ramp up every time I come back to blogging. What I realized was that my insecurities are tied to a strong need for external validation. When I receive external validation, I feel good. When I don’t, I feel bad. I’ve come a long way and today, I can actually say I don’t care about what everyone thinks of me. But, what I realized is that I still really care about what my friends think of me.
I was trying to figure out why this was and then I remembered an experience I had in high school. I moved to a new city and a new state halfway through my sophomore year. It was really hard, being uprooted from where you grew up, your childhood friends, your home, and having to start all over again at the age of 15.
When I first moved to the new school, I actually did feel welcomed. A group of friends approached me pretty immediately and befriended me, they invited me to hang out and go to social events. I felt so relieved...more
My blog is back! It’s revamped, rebranded and I’m bursting with so much excitement and joy. It wasn’t an easy, straight path that led here, however. There was a bit of healing journey that I had to take.
I was having mild sore throats on and off throughout this whole year. Naturally, earlier in the year when the pandemic first happened, I experienced a lot of paranoia that it was COVID. But, these sore throats were so different than any I’ve ever had before. They were extremely mild for one, and after a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, the sore throat would disappear. They were accompanied by no other symptoms either which was the other strange component.
I knew that the reason for my sore throats was an energetic imbalance. In my experience, most physical ailments have some sort of emotional reason underlying them. Over time, these emotional stresses and imbalances escalate and eventually manifest in our body as physical symptoms. It’s one of the ways our soul tries to get us to wake up.
Recently, I connected the dots and realized that my throat chakra...more
It’s been quite a while since I last blogged and so much has happened. I felt compelled to write about the psycho-spiritual impact of the coronavirus to help process my own fears and emotions, but maybe it can help somebody else as well.
Most people are emotionally absorbent—meaning that the feelings and emotions of those around us can impact and influence our own personal feelings and emotions. Our world is significantly affected by COVID-19 and there is a collective fear in the air that many of us are feeling on a personal level. Of course, it doesn’t help calm our nerves when it's the only thing we see from the media, it's the main topic of conversation, and when many of our routines and lives have been disrupted by it. I think that it would be very unusual for someone to not feel emotionally affected.
Identifying it at its simplicity, this feeling that we are all sensing is collective fear. Since so many of us are empaths, or emotionally absorbent, we pick up on the collective fear and then experience the emotion personally. What I’ve been noticing is that on the...more
For the longest time, I’ve felt inclined to write because of this notion that I just KNOW. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons over the past decade. Throughout my life experiences, I’ve suffered, I’ve thrived, I’ve grown—as we all do. But, simply having self-awareness doesn’t equate to knowing everything or even knowing what is for the best. I was so sure that I needed to write a book because it seemed like the logical way to monetize my passion. They always say, do what you love for a career and you’ll never hate your job. Yet, I was so fixated on the end result, “write a book to make money”, that I didn’t realize I was paddling my boat upstream.
Life feels so much easier when there’s not resistance. When you just flow with life, instead of stubbornly pushing against it. I’ve realized that being so goal-oriented and focused on results has made the process dreadful.
Something quite amusing that I’ve observed is my dog behaves in the complete opposite way. He loves destroying his squeaky toys, and besides food, treats, and walks, nothing gets him as excited...more
“Allow failure to lead you to your revival.”
I don’t know how everyone else is feeling, but this month has been wild for me. I started out 2020 feeling insanely optimistic and hopeful. Then, reality sunk in and I fell into a familiar rabbit hole, the one where everything is bleak and depressing. I had to focus all of my energy on picking myself up and climbing out of the hole. Now that I’m out, I’m basically scratching my head and asking myself, what’s next?
Historically, I have had a difficult time conforming to society’s ideological way of life. In the past, when I’ve deliberately chosen to work in highly structured jobs, I’ve felt imprisoned. Then, in an effort to rectify, I will do the most freeing thing that I can think of which is chase after my passion. However, without having a clear path to follow, my sense of direction becomes messy and then I reach a moment where I realize things aren’t working.
Lately, I’ve been self-reflecting on this matter. I look back at the last three years of my life and wonder, is this a pattern? Do...more
It's been awhile. I took a break from blogging, social media, and even working because I had my sights fixated on a specific goal: I wanted to write a book. I wanted to churn out a published book in three months because I was gifted a book that said that it was possible. However, on some level I was aware that it would be a difficult task, so I put myself in a bubble. I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram pages, I took a break from my blog, and I shifted my focus onto my book.
Some people knew that this was what I was doing, most didn’t. I wanted to protect myself in this bubble because I wanted to avoid judgement. I didn't want anything to stop me from achieving my goal. But, I hadn’t ever written a book before. I was gifted a book by a random person that lightly touches on the process, but it was still a lot harder than I expected. What I didn’t know before starting this journey was that publishing a book via a traditional publisher is a lengthy process that isn’t succeeded by most people without a celebrity status or a loyal following.
You might argue that it’s...more
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." —Friedrich Nietzsche
Apologizing is one of the most humbling gestures for a human being. When we tell someone that we’re sorry, we are admitting fault, regretting an action or comment made, and acknowledging their feelings all at the same time. But, as I’m sure you have noticed, there are some people out there that either have a hard time apologizing, or even a complete inability to apologize. And, this really got me thinking about how we should handle those instances. Do we let it go? Do we hold a grudge? Why can’t some people just say that they’re sorry??
People that can’t say that they’re sorry refuse to do so because they don’t want to take accountability. When we apologize for something, we are owning up to a mistake we made. Therefore, a simple apology can act as a major threat to someone’s ego. The person that refuses to apologize doesn’t want their image of themselves or their image to others to be damaged by admitting fault. But, the...more
"The wound is the place where the light enters you." — Rumi
These last few weeks have been incredibly challenging for me. My mental balance has been compromised and I’ve been feeling emotionally overwhelmed. In my recent blogs, I’ve talked about how my depression and anxiety stems from my insecurities and feeling like I’m not good enough. Today, during my meditation I started to feel those same feelings seep into my awareness. And, during my meditation I realized that my self-deprecating thoughts and feelings are draining me. They're holding me back from moving forward, like they’re these 100-pound weights cuffed around my ankles. I think thoughts like, “how am I supposed to write a book or help anybody when I can’t even help myself?” But, today I decided to challenge those thoughts.
My parents love to tell me this story about me when I was little, around three or four years old. This story crossed my mind today during my meditation, and it was exactly what I needed to remember. When I was young, I was feisty and full of energy; I was...more
"Be grateful for triggers; they point where you are not free."— Unknown
Something that I’ve talked a bit about in my blogs are my insecurities and feeling like I’m not good enough. Feeling not good enough is the root of a lot of my mental health struggles. But, I’m not drowning in them like I used to. I lose my way, I lose my footing and fall back. But, I’ve also grown a lot in the past few years and have gotten to a place where I can now recognize when I’m slipping and can address the issue in real time.
What I’m learning now more than ever is that we have triggers. A gun without a trigger is useless; but, a gun with a trigger is dangerous. The trigger is what propels the bullet forward and a trigger is also what ignites our emotional pain. So, let's say we had a rampant fire that we worked really hard to put out, but there were still a few small flames flickering, unbeknownst to us. What a trigger does is come in and add fuel to erupt those few flames into a full-blown raging fire again. If we are completely unaware during this process,...more
These last couple of weeks I haven’t posted to my blog because I was going through a hard time emotionally. And then, I was afraid to share about it because I worried about how people were going to perceive me or if they would judge me. The topic that has always been the closest to my heart and the most important reason why I want to write a book to help people is mental health. Maintaining a mental and emotional balance is something that I have struggled with on and off throughout my life. I know some people are hit with it even harder. But, I think each and every one of us has experienced a time when we’re feeling low, feeling anxious, or just feeling unbalanced. And when we’re right in the middle of it trying to move through it, life becomes insanely hard to deal with.more
"Your entire life only happens in this moment. The present moment is life itself. Yet, people live as if the opposite were true and treat the present moment as a stepping stone to the next moment— a means to an end." — Eckhart Tolle
The little moments, the small details are such an integral part of our lives, yet they’re so often overlooked and ignored. What do I mean by little moments? I mean the little moment of walking your dog in the morning and you notice that the weather isn’t painstakingly hot for the first time in months. It’s a gorgeous day, your dog is happily trotting from tree to tree, and you just breathe it all in and enjoy the gentle breeze brushing against your skin. Your mind isn’t thinking about the rest of the day or the stresses of tomorrow, and you just feel grateful for what is. This is one of the many little moments, precious moments, that we repeatedly miss out on even when they’re right in front of us.more
"Imperfection is a form of freedom." — Anh Ngo
My name is Saba Ghaffari and I am a recovering perfectionist. The dictionary defines a perfectionist as being someone who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. Living your life in this way is not enhancing, it’s actually suffocating. People that strive for perfection doubt their decisions, overthink unnecessary details, and are extremely critical and judgmental of themselves. Life in itself is inherently flawed, so living your life without any room for error is a surefire way to suck a lot of joy out of living. Then, why do we do it?more
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
Recently, I’ve become acutely aware of the fact that we all have walls which we put in place, often subconsciously, in an effort to protect ourselves. While it feels like these walls keep us safe from harm, in reality they are actually blocks standing in our way of receiving and attaining what we truly want. I used a personal example of one of my blocks in my blog on insecurities. I was having difficulty feeling inspired to write because I felt like no one was going to care. The wall in this scenario was that I was caring too much about what other people think. I’ve had this wall up for as long as I can remember. This wall was put in place to protect me from getting hurt by other people’s opinions and criticism of me. But, I overcame that hurdle through realizing that the only person’s opinion that I need to care...more
“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.” – Oprah Winfrey
Something that I realize more and more as I get older is that everything has a purpose and everything happens for a reason. Too many times I have caught myself in a storm of resentment, barricading myself with resistance to a situation, complaining about it, and desperately praying for a “better” scenario. It’s always in the aftermath, after the event has passed or run its course, that I realize there was merit in the circumstance and what a shame that I didn’t see it at the time.more
The past few days I’ve had the hardest time trying to write. People call this phenomenon “writer’s block”. Wikipedia even describes it as a condition that “ranges from difficulty with coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce work for years.” I know what you’re probably thinking: “You have writer’s block the first month into your new writing venture?” Yes, yes I do. Thankfully, my situation isn’t that dire, as it’s only been a couple of weeks since I’ve written. But, the ominous fear surrounding the “block” feels all the same to me.
Why has it been so difficult for me to write? I feel insecure. I feel overwhelmed. I just made a huge life change and the road to get to the outcome that I truly want feels daunting and unpredictable. It’s like, I know my destination, but I don’t know exactly how to get there. All of the uncertainty in the air makes it easier for insecurities to creep in and haunt my thoughts. These insecurities whisper things to me like, “no one really cares about what you write”. Well, maybe that is true. But, should that stop me from writing?...more
“'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak. And when you feel weak, you feel like you want to just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength. And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up, and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse” –Eminem (excerpted from his song ‘Till I Collapse’)
As some of you already know, I love to write. In fact, I felt so strongly that writing was my calling, my purpose in life, that I left my cushy, corporate job in 2017 to pursue my passion. But, things didn’t really work out in the way that I thought they would. I wasn’t earning enough money to stay in my apartment and I was forced to relocate to Austin and move into my parent’s house for a while. Then, I worked as an editorial intern at a local magazine, where the type of writing was quite different from what I enjoyed, and I completely stopped writing for ME.
I’ll be honest. I was disappointed and embarrassed that I wasn’t...more
"The 'pain-body' wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it." —Eckhart Tolle
I haven’t written anything in what feels like an eternity. But, I promised myself that this blog would exist as something for ME, not for anyone else; so, I’ll try my best to not pass judgment on it. Like many people, I’ve noticed that I can be my biggest critic. Which is a shame, because we don’t need to do anything but love ourselves.
A lot of changes and things have been happening in my personal life that have taken my time and energy, which is one of the reasons that I haven’t felt the need or the urge to write anything. But today, I wanted to write about how our old emotional wounds can sporadically re-open and cause us pain and suffering. Often times, we aren’t even aware that it is actually old “pain” causing our current “pain”.
A long time ago, I was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t faithful to me. And I made the decision to take him back and give him...more
"Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly." -Eckhart Tolle
One of the things that is so incredibly important to me, now more than ever, is authenticity. Existing in this digital world that we live in, it’s becoming even more challenging to maintain a sense of authenticity. Social media is a huge reason for this. We’re constantly refreshing these apps that make us keep our focus on everyone else, but ourselves. “This” is what my body should look like, “that” is what I need to buy, “this” is the life that I should be living. I myself have gotten so caught up in these antics that I find myself feeling miserable and like I’m constantly not good enough.
This week was a really bad week for me. I was in a deep hole that I could not seem to get myself out of. I was in a funk. As of recently, I’ve discovered that when I’m in these moods it’s because I’m RESISTING and not ACCEPTING. So, what does that mean?
Well, for myself, one huge trigger is when I feel like I’m not...more
Hello, hello everybody! Welcome to my new website SABA. Being that this is the very first blog, I thought that it would be appropriate to give a background on myself and my vision for this website.
Once upon a time, I was 23 years old and feeling very stuck in my life. I felt extremely unfulfilled at my job, overwhelmed by a huge sense of existential anxiety. A huge part of that was that I felt like I wasn’t doing anything to help make a difference in the world. The other contributing factor was that I wasn’t able to tap into my creativity. Hence, I was feeling a lot of angst and anxiety, even suffering from panic attacks. So, after a bit of soul searching, one day the random thought popped into my head to start a blog. I followed that thought through and my old website was born. My old website kind of had a little bit of everything, it was like a lifestyle blog. I wrote about fashion, beauty, recipes, and my perspectives on various topics like mental health, dating, and life in your twenties.
My old blog was a huge blessing because it revealed to me my true...more