[Above is a picture of me after I was betrayed by my sandals and thrown into the ocean. Moment captured by: A Photography Journal]
If you keep up with my posts you know that my schedule is typically a blog post on Monday and a YouTube video on Thursday, give or take a day. Last week, however, I did not post a blog or video. I started my week in the usual way, by Monday I had chosen my topic for the week and even filmed my video for Thursday, but when I sat down at the computer, my fingers just didn't move. A small voice told me to step away from the computer, make a cup of tea, and just sit for a while. I found myself thinking about all the projects I've taken on in the past month.
As my dreams and desired life have became clear to me, I crave movement in that direction. I have an unquenchable thirst for soaking up as much information as I can then putting that into action towards my goals. This is great. I'm not complaining at all. The pure joy, excitement, and lust for life that have grown in me over the past year revealed the true me to myself and made life so much sweeter. This is what life is all about and I am so grateful to make that girl with her head in the clouds dreaming of one day being a writer proud. My depression is gone, my anxiety that once controlled my every move reduced to just an occasional squirm in my stomach. I'm finally doing it, but with all that energy new problems arise.
Real true growth and movement in life always present new challenges. Life will never be comfortable. I was not comfortable back when I just went through the motions in life, stuck in my bubble. I was miserable and felt stuck in my mediocre life. Now that I'm on the right path, new, different challenges await. Although I am stronger now, I am not unbreakable. Although life is infinitely better that it was, there is still so much work that must be done.
Over the last month I have worked harder than I ever have in my life. It seems like between blogging, filming, editing, coaching, working my side job and all the obligations in my personal life in between, I barely remembered to eat. I was working myself to the point of exhaustion. My body finally put its foot when and I got sick. I suddenly realized that in the rush to get everything done, I had not been taking care of myself.
Really going for it in life takes a lot of practice and discipline. I had to take a few days to think, journey within, and finally made a decision. By trying to focus on 10 different projects, I wasn't doing any of them to the best of my ability. We cannot be great at anything if we spend all of our time trying to be good at everything.
The moral of this story is just that I'm human and that's okay. It is easy to get swept up in all the excitement and wish to do everything that we can forget to stop and take the occasional breath. If you are feeling overwhelmed in life, try to take a few hours or even a day to consider what is most important to you and to clear out the unnecessary clutter in that path. It's okay to need a break or day off sometimes. We are all human.
Have a beautiful week. Sending you light and love!
I love self-help books. Not just any old self help book, but the ones that promote spiritual growth. Self-help as a topic, whether it be published work or hiring a coach or therapist, is all too often be met with an eye roll. I was once too embarrassed to pick up one myself a few years ago. I didn't want to come off as not having it together, although I was floundering in the waters of life. I think it's unfortunate that many of us are too prideful to admit we need help, therapy, or advice from others in life. It's usually when we accept that maybe we don't have all the answers and reach out to others that life finally starts to unravel in our favor.
I remember when I first invested in my self growth, after all this is really what we are doing when we spend a little money in the self-help/spiritual growth department. I had graduated from college with blind optimism that my internships and work throughout college would help me easily land a great job in a new city. I was wrong... very wrong. Two months after graduating I ran out of money and had to move back in with my parents. Broke, jobless, and spirits crushed, I realized that I had some work to do. I buckled down, found a job near my hometown so I could save money and bought a few self-help books so I could develop some real world skills in the meantime.
I bought two books on the subject of female empowerment. Both had the same idea, stop being a doormat to others, one was a more in general read and the other focused more on self respect in relationships. I lacked love and confidence in myself and allowed others to walk all over me far too often. I was so self-conscious that someone would see these books and judge me that I literally hid them under my bed. How ridiculous is that? Hilariously enough, two months after I read, journaled, and really put the exercises and wisdom in these books into motion, I landed a job in a new city and met my incredible partner. I'm not saying the magic that I experienced will happen with every book or article on self development that exists. Not all self help books are created equal, I have had quite a few that didn't resonate with me at all, but some have indeed changed my life forever.
Books aren't the only means of gathering helpful advice in life, but they are much more helpful than many of us realize. I have always loved to research and discover new ideas. The thought of constantly transforming and bettering myself has always been a strong interest, secret as it was for many years. Through my research and conversations with others, I am often given life changing advice. I'm the type of person that must hear this advice, think about it, hear it again, read about it, then somewhere along the way it finally clicks. Many times when it finally clicks I realize that deep down, on a soul level, I knew these truths all along. It just takes some digging to finally find its place in my heart and mind.
Magic happens in life when we finally get over our shit and realize that there is work that must be done. We are never perfect and improvements are always needed. The book I'm now reading suggests viewing ourselves as a divine vessel that needs some remodeling and improvements. Although we can admire and be pretty damn proud of our vessels and the home improvements made so far, if we get lazy some cobwebs might start to form up in the corners before we know it.
Life is our classroom and there are new lessons assigned on the board every day. When we are in school and setting out to learn a new subject, we will waste no expense of buying the right textbook or hiring a tutor, just check the ridiculous prices of college text books are these days. Why are we so embarrassed to accept help in life? If hiring a coach, therapist or purchasing a book that resonates with us can help move us along towards our goals, why not invest the same in ourselves as we do in education? Sure, the right degree can help us land the job, but an awesome coach or finally sorting out those mental blocks can also help to advance us in life.
This is one of the main reasons I have created this blog. I’m sharing the advice with you that I heard 100 plus times and usually have to figure it out the hard way. My hope is that someone reading this will either hear my advice that can be of use in their own life or maybe relate to my stubbornness. I am in no way perfect or have everything figured out, but I finally accepted that life is a journey filled with opportunities to learn and grow. Don't be too ashamed or stubborn to reach out for help in your journey. Money spent on coaching, therapy, or a self-help book or two is money that will come back tenfold in happiness and expansion. The magic is waiting for you, just reach out your hand.
I may do an upcoming post of my favorite blogs, websites, and books that inspired me and changed my life. I hope everyone has a wonderful and magical week. See you Thursday over on my YouTube channel!
Wow, it's already February. Is it just me or does time seem to be speeding up lately? It's getting harder and harder to procrastinate. If I close my eyes for too long another month has gone by without reaching my goals. It's definitely a time to get serious in pursuit of our goals. And my 26th birthday is this month. I have a few goals in mind that I want to carry out in my 26th year. It's time to get busy.
I've attempted to cultivate the habit of posting a blog each Monday and YouTube video on Thursdays in the new year. This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me, as I like to write when I feel inspired, not really on a regular basis and video editing may or may not have brought me to tears more times than I would like to admit. This is obviously something that I have to overcome if writing and consistent content creation are goals I wish to pursue. I'm sure there are others out there that can relate to the tedious work of beginning a new habit. Even it is something that we enjoy, like how much I enjoy writing, the process of doing it regularly and especially showing up when we really don't feel like it can be downright exhausting.
Habits and routines make up such an important part of our day-to-day life. Both are an instinctual way for us to conserve our energy and efforts. Going through our regular morning routines takes very little mental energy, freeing us up to use that energy elsewhere. If we are in the habit of working out each morning, we don't have to use energy to convince ourselves to get out of bed and show up for our workout, it's something that we will do without thinking. This is a wonderful thing when we set up good and healthy routines in our lives, but as we all know, it is much more difficult to establish good habits than it is to fall back on old bad habits. Setting ourselves up to grow good habits takes A LOT of energy.
There is a comfort in giving into old, bad habits. No matter how these truly make us feel, which is usually pretty bad, it is so easy to turn to these habits for comfort when we feel out of sorts. You hear it often, someone has switched to a healthier diet or has given up smoking, but as soon as they have a bad day or get some bad news, out comes the ice cream and cigarettes. For some of us it's okay to indulge in the occasional frozen yogurt trip or alcoholic drink, but others this can quickly snowball into something much more dangerous and life threatening. It's important to keep in control of ourselves to prevent undoing all of the good habits we've worked so hard to set up.
Habits can also become a trap in our lives. We settle into routines that occur day after day both at work and at home with our loved ones so much so that our actions each day can too become mindless. We run the risk of settling into our comfortable routines and forget that life is about stepping outside of our comfort zone and accepting new challenges. Growth never happens in our comfort zones. In fact, growth is often painful and uncomfortable. If we settle too far into the comfort zones, months or years can pass us by before we realize that our goals or dreams that once kept us up at night in anticipation have slowly transformed into faint whispers that we have overlooked.
A habit I tried to form in my life for years was eating a vegetarian diet. Since 2010 I had tried and failed to give up meat. I would go weeks, even months without eating meat then one day I would be overcome with the desire for a cheeseburger. I would give in then feel awful about myself. This went on for years though I knew deep down my authentic self did not eat meat. I felt a disconnect in life from who I knew I was on the inside and who I was every day that I continued to consume meat. Then finally, this time last year, it finally clicked. I would not eat meat again because I was not a meat eater. I have stayed faithful to my vegetarian diet for a year, even now considering switching to a stricter vegan diet, with no desire for meat to be found. My values and my diet finally are in sync and it feels wonderful. I feel like me.
Establishing healthy habits takes the firm decision to do so. If I'm a vegetarian, I don't allow myself to consider grabbing a cheeseburger when no one is looking, because I don't eat meat. If I'm sober, I don't consider having just one drink or one pill, because it's not something that I do. When our actions feel out of line with our true selves, this creates a toxic, self-loathing inner dialogue in our lives that rapidly seeps into other parts of our lives. Better habits takes the firm decision that this is who I am. Decide to decide and don't look back. Like anything in life, if it's worth doing, do it all the way. It can be difficult to let go of habits in the beginning, but it gets much easier in time and eventually you won't even feel like the same person. You'll be better, stronger, and more like you.
Mindfulness is important when we establish habits in our lives. Don't become robotic in your day-to-day life. Every once in a while throughout your day stop and breathe. Look around you. Look at the flowers blooming along the road on your way to work. Take a moment to breathe in the air and feel the sunshine on your skin. Take a second to look deeply into your loved ones eyes and appreciate their existence right now, today. Come from a place of gratitude for what exists now and not a place of lack or desiring what we don't have yet. Appreciate who you are today, you may still have 20 pounds to lose, but you showed up to the gym and worked your ass off. Feel how that feels and try to feel that as often as possible. When we appreciate life for its beauty and grace, life will send more reasons to feel grateful. Every day doesn't need to be a battle. You are here and simply being alive is a beautiful gift.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Sending love and positive energy your way!
I will see you on Thursday as I discuss my collection of green beauty holy grails, where to find them, and what prices to expect.