30-Day Challenge (Know Thyself): Day 4

Day 4: Location – type of setting you live in

I am currently living in PA, USA. I would visit this state a lot while growing up because I have many relatives here. I always really enjoyed the visits and I liked the open space and woodsy environment. I live close to the center of town which is nice. They have some really good food places. I love ordering mac & cheese bites… so delicious!

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30-Day Challenge (Know Thyself): Day 3

Day 3: Gender – how you feel about it and how it affects your life

I am a female, if you can tell. I believe in equality and feminism and even though both genders are different, they are also the same. We all have feminine and masculine energies inside of us and one is usually stronger than the other. I think my life would definitely be different if I was male but I’m sure there are still some things that would be the same.

30-Day Challenge (Know Thyself): Day 2

Day 2: Age – your birthday, growing up, how it feels

I am currently 22-years old. I’ll be turning 23 in less than a month! I feel like I am ready for 23. Being 22 is great but it’s also tough when you have just graduated college and trying to figure out what to do with your life. 23 feels like an age when everything seems to be coming together. Of course it is very different for everyone.

I was born in 1994. I do have a lot of vivid memories from childhood, still. I remember my first day of kindergarten. I remember how weird it was when the year 2000 came. I remember the tragedy of 9/11. I remember creating my first email account and AIM account.

I like being born on November 14th. Autumn is my favorite season. It’s also right around exciting holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I also like how it’s right in the middle of the month, so November truly feels like my birthday month. Surprisingly, a lot of people share my birthdate.

30-Day Challenge (Know Thyself): Day 1

Day 1: Name – its origin, its meaning, how you feel about it…

Hi! My name is Laura Cyrena.

I do enjoy my name. “Laura” has a Latin origin and means, “laurel-crowned princess.” “Cyrena” has a Greek origin and means, “sovereign queen.” So, essentially, put it all together and you get “queen of all princesses.” Or something like that.

My name also has ancestral meaning. “Laura” is named after my great aunt Laura on my mother’s side, while “Cyrena” is named after my great-grandmother on my father’s side.

I like the fact that my name has meaning to it and it’s not just random. The only issue is that “Laura” is such a common name that oftentimes people have the same name as me (like one of my best friends, Laura!) I prefer “Laura” over “Lauren,” which seems to be even more common of a name. Sometimes I would wish that Cyrena was my first name, but then again, it would be hard having such a rare name that people don’t know how to pronounce. So overall, I’m very content with my name.

30-Day Writer’s Challenge: “Know Thyself”

The Internet is full of “30-day challenges,” which are taken on in hopes of self-improvement and feelings of accomplishment. I have completed a few of these back in the day, and now I’d like to bring them back. I’m going to try doing more “30-day challenges” here. Some of them have been pre-made, others I will create myself. Some of them are task-related while others (like this one) are writing prompts. It makes more sense to do a 30-day challenge on the first of a new month, but they can easily be completed at any point in time.

Today I am beginning with a challenge I made up myself called “Know Thyself.” It consists of daily writing prompts focused on learning more about myself. In order to do well in life and make good decisions, you need to know who you are.

*Feel free to use this challenge; I just ask that you give me credit.*


30-Day Writing Challenge: “Know Thyself”

Basics about you:

  1. Name – its origin, its meaning, how you feel about it…
  2. Age – your birthday, growing up, how it feels
  3. Gender – how you feel about it and how it affects your life
  4. Location – type of setting you live in
  5. Astrology – your horoscope, how it does or doesn’t describe you

Favorites:

  1. Music
  2. Film & TV
  3. Animal
  4. Color
  5. Holiday

Lifestyle:

  1. Daily routines
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise
  4. Hobbies
  5. Relaxation

Personality:

  1. Strongest traits
  2. Greatest flaws
  3. Things you would/wouldn’t change about yourself
  4. How others see you
  5. How you really see yourself

Thoughts on…

  1. The pursuit of happiness
  2. Environmentalism
  3. Animal rights
  4. Technology
  5. Karma

Deep questions:

  1. What are your core beliefs?
  2. How have you changed?
  3. What makes you happy?
  4. How do you get yourself through a hard time?
  5. What advice can you give yourself?

Deep Thoughts: The Bigger Picture

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I woke up early this morning and suddenly remembered, “I don’t need to get out of bed and rush to work!” What a great feeling. Something about the energy of this day is giving me deep thoughts. Maybe it is the fact that I am here by myself (and Venus), just alone in my head. The silence is very nice. Venus is peacefully napping at the end of the bed because this is usually around the time when both Kevin and I are at work — so she has gotten into a habit of sleeping while we are gone, and running around like a maniac while we are asleep.

I was thinking about how life’s little distractions get in the way of life itself. It has been a crazy adventure moving around, job searching, and starting a new position. But I have been really looking forward to when things start to settle down and I can fully adjust to my new world.

I have gotten to the point where I am trying to avoid any type of distraction that gets in the way of the moment and my happiness. I had to admit to myself that all humans have a tendency to subconsciously create drama, whether we enjoy it or despise it. It’s the reason we watch movies or read gossip magazines. Drama is our entertainment — but it’s a very stressful form of entertainment that clouds our minds and makes us lose sight of what truly matters.

In order to keep the peace, I am trying to develop a habit of simply letting things happen. For example, I am done with pushing people in and out of my life. I stop focusing on outside events that I cannot control and I switch the focus on how I react to these situations. Life is like a roller coaster ride and if you try to take the wheel and control everything, you become frustrated. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

The universe throws things at you — situations, challenges, or people — and it’s like a game. Humans are looking for conflict; we’re looking for things we can conquer. You can curse the universe or you can have fun interacting with the universe. It’s like the universe is a little kid saying, “c’mon, let’s play!” And sadly, we tend to respond to it like an exhausted mother by replying, “ugh, go play by yourself and leave me alone.”

Spending significantly less time on social media has really improved my mental health. It is much easier to live in the moment and avoid dwelling on the past. I am not constantly reminded of people I had been struggling to let go of. I feel more clear-headed, like I can fully focus on the present.

And these are my deep thoughts for the day. Thanks for reading, hope it gave you some inspiration. Comment below if you have any more deep thoughts to add.

Autumn Playlist

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Happy first day of Autumn (Fall)!

Autumn may be my favorite season – not just because I have a November birthday. It’s an exciting time to celebrate. It’s the reemergence of specialty drinks, such as hot apple cider and pumpkin spiced lattes, and specialty foods, such as candy corn and pumpkin-flavored everything! It’s the best time to enjoy nature: the trees turn to beautiful shades of gold while the weather cools down.

Autumn is a time of letting go. The leaves fall down from the trees and die. It is a time of darkness. The days become shorter and the nights become longer. It is a time of demons, zombies, ghosts, and death. On Halloween (or Samhain, traditionally) the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, so we dress up in order to scare away the bad spirits. At the surface, autumn may seem like a sad and scary time; but in reality, it is a beautiful opportunity to face the monsters we hide in our closets so that we can let them go and make space for something new – something much better.

In honor of the changing of the seasons, I decided to create an autumn playlist that I would like to share.

1. The Fall – Imagine Dragons

Notable quote: “I’m ready for the fall, I’m ready for everything that I believe in to drift away. Ready for the leaves, ready for the colors to burn to gold and crumble away.”

This is the perfect autumn song! It’s all about letting go and feeling ready to start over again.

2. Summer’s Gone – NoMBe (featuring Thutmose)

Notable quote: “Summer’s gone, but you can be my winter love.”

This is a very soothing song that helps you relax into the uncomfortable shifting of seasons.

3. A Lonely September – Plain White T’s

Notable quote: “You know the holidays are coming up, I don’t wanna spend them alone. Memories of Christmas time with you will just kill me if I’m on my own.”

The invigorating, acoustic melody will make you feel like you are sitting outside by a campfire on a cool night.

4. Scarecrow – Pink Floyd

Notable quote: “He stood in a field where barely grows.”

What else is more autumn-y than a scarecrow? The lyrics are very straightforward.

5. Devil Knows – Widowspeak

Notable quote: “Oh, oh, the devil knows…”

Here is where we begin the spooky-themed songs. As I mentioned before, Autumn is a time of darkness and death.

6. Demons – Imagine Dragons

Notable quote: “It’s dark inside, its where my demons hide.”

This is a very haunting song. It’s about acknowledging the spiritual darkness that resides in all of us.

7. Ghosts – Adventure Club

Notable quote: “Your soul and my love don’t align, but your ghost is my ghost all the time.”

It’s about trying to let go of someone who is not meant to be in your life, but their ghost still haunts you.

8. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites – SKRILLEX

Notable quote: “Look at this, I’m a coward too. You don’t need to hide my friend, for I am just like you.”

This is a heavy dubstep song that is mainly instrumental. It tells the story of a monster scaring a little kid. In reality, the monster is just as fearful as the child (“I’m a coward too,” he says). The song is a reminder that fear is just an illusion.

9. Superstitious – The Birthday Massacre

Notable quote: “He says, intuition is awakening suspicion, he says, my tradition is the art of superstition.”

This is a gothic song with a very strong Halloween vibe. It’s super catchy and makes you feel like you are in a haunted house.

10. Walking on Air – Kerli

Notable quote: “She has a little creepy cat and a little creepy bat, little rocking chair and an old, blue hat. That little creepy girl, oh she loves to sing; she has a little gift, an amazing thing.”

This song sounds super spooky but it also has an empowering message: abandon your doubts, believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything.

11. Madness – Muse

Notable quote: “I need to know: is this real love or is this just madness keeping us afloat?”

The trance melody sends you to another world, a spooky world of madness.

12. Mad Hatter – Melanie Martinez

Notable quote: “All the best people are crazy.”

This Alice-in-Wonderland-themed song is scary, spooky, and absolutely nuts!

13. Afterlife – Illenium (featuring Echoes)

Notable quote: “And in the afterlife, tell me we’ll be fine.”

“Afterlife” is not only about death, but everything that lies beyond death.

14. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran

Notable quote: “If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together. Watch the flames climb high into the night.”

When I think of fire, I think of autumn. Not only does it remind me of camping, it also relates to the process of letting go and burning the past. The lyrics describe a town being destroyed by fire and burning to the ground, but the melody is so calming that the song becomes peaceful instead of violent.

15. Things We Lost in The Fire – Bastille

Notable quote: “We were born with nothing and we sure as hell have nothing now.”

The song starts slow and sad but quickly becomes upbeat and catchy. Basically, it is a song about learning to let go.

16. A Place We Set Afire – Yellowcard

Notable quote: “Try to find some peace in falling out.”

Keeping up with the theme of fire, this is another “goodbye” song. However, it is hopeful – “we don’t have to say goodbye, but we can’t get lost in time” he sings, “I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine, maybe in another life.” It’s a reminder that not every goodbye is forever, which helps with the process of letting go.

17. Now is Gold – Infected Mushroom (featuring Kelsey Karter)

Notable quote: “Now is gold, I see her wings and I’m not cold. The fear is gone, and I am ready to move on.”

This dubstep song is actually a little scary, but it has a peaceful message. It’s about saying goodbye to the fear that comes with holding onto things we must let go of. It reminds us to always live in the moment.

18. Gold – Imagine Dragons

Notable quote: “Everything you touch turns to gold.”

Gold is a color that is strongly associated with autumn.

19. Goodnight – Adventure Club

Notable quote: “Gentle I go, into that good night.”

Autumn is a dark season with long nights. It is also spiritually “the dark night of the soul” because we are letting go. His voice is somewhat weak and shaky, as if he has officially hit rock bottom. But the beauty of rock bottom is that the only way from here is “up.” It is a tranquil way to end autumn and feel ready for the new beginnings of winter.