Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for a break from the norm.  As proud as I am of doing all the work for my meal prep, I realized that I didn’t have to do as much as I was.  I was able to take a break today and not have to spend hours in the kitchen.  I was also able to get laundry done yesterday so the evening wasn’t spent putting clothes away.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to be gentle with myself.  There are always a million things we have to do but I wasn’t feeling it today so I put aside 95% of what I normally would do and just let go.  My son hasn’t been feeling well so I tended to him today and we played.  I was able to get the essentials done but I didn’t push for anything else.  I let what was done be enough.

Today I am grateful to reconnect with family.  We hadn’t been able to spend much time with my husband’s father over the last few years and he came over today.  We all sat together and caught up on things.  It was really nice to see how happy my husband was to spend that time with his dad.  It was also really nice to have our son see his grandfather.

Today I am grateful to be making progress.  Quite literally last week I wasn’t sure that I would even have a family and this week has given me the opportunity to reflect on how far I’ve come.  Even though there is constant motion and things are always in flux, I have definitely started to make some progress to where I need to be.  I haven’t shied away from what needs to be done and I am learning to acclimate as I go along.  I mentioned the other way that you can’t go into the kitchen and expect to come out with a cake without breaking a few eggs.  I have to learn to follow my own advice because I was definitely jumping ahead of the game.  My expectations were of a completed product and I lost sight of being happy with what I’ve managed so far.

Today I am grateful for emotional control.  As I mentioned my son isn’t feeling well and it is something he has dealt with since he was born.  He is starting to see some additional symptoms that I’m not sure how to deal with (we are taking him to the doctor this week) and they’re a little scary.  I used to think that I was immune to this because we’ve been dealing with it for 3 years but I still feel so helpless and terrified of what could really be happening to him.  Today I knew that he needed me and that losing my mind would be of no use to him.  So I worked through it and helped him to stay as calm as I could.  I comforted him and held him through every episode—and that was all he needed today.  He just needed love and support and I am happy I was able to give that to him.

Today I am grateful to just be.  I’m really understanding the lessons around taking things as they come.  Any time spent speculating is time wasted because the results are never guaranteed.  I used to romanticize the thought of knowing everything, knowing every move, reading people’s actions and knowing their next move.  All that has done was create an anxious state not spent recognizing my own needs or even my role in situations.  I’ve spent so much energy anticipating things—usually to the negative end—when that energy could have been better spent just being in the moment.  There is nothing other than what is here right now.  Don’t waste energy on something that isn’t even real.

Today I am grateful for the essence of who I am.  I’ve been incredibly judgy about myself and I’ve set expectations that aren’t realistic.  It’s all bullshit.  I don’t need to be this perfected version of a person with no flaws in order to be worthy or to get where I want to be and I certainly don’t need to be that version of a person to get started.  It’s ok to be at peace with who I am and it’s ok to be proud of the things I have accomplished.  I am human and I am making progress—that’s all we can ask.  For so long I had been focused on the finish line not thinking that the finish line means it’s over.  It’s ok to be ok with ourselves.  In fact, accepting who we are and where we are is the only way to make changes and move forward.

What Are You Asking For?

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I read a quote the other day that said, “The universe doesn’t disagree with you, so what exactly are you asking for?”  I love this idea almost as much as I hate it–but the accountability implied in it is so empowering.  For example, I had a moment of self pity the other day when I hit a series of red lights– absolutely ridiculous and childish, I know.  But here is where it got my wheels turning.  During the course of that morning, I will admit that I had been feeling particularly negative, so by the time I left in really crappy weather, I was not any better.  Regardless, as I was driving, I distinctly remember thinking, “I bet today I’m even going to hit that light” meaning that I would be stopped at a light I normally get the green for.  Sure as hell, as soon as I approach that light it’s red.  And then the light after.  And after. And after.  By then it felt like a cosmic joke because that series runs through downtown and they are normally all a go at the time I leave—so I really got chaffed at that point.  I screamed, “Why is it so easy to manifest all the bad shit?  Why does the bad shit have no issue coming through?!”  Ah ha.  Why indeed?

This is all on me.  I quite literally called those lights into existence (in addition to the universe probably telling me to slow down) and then I got angry about it.  Truthfully I was angry that the good things I want haven’t come through nearly that easily.  And it hit me that it was about mindset.  How much do I really believe that the good things can happen—and do I really believe that they can happen that easily?  And I thought to myself, no I really don’t think the good comes that easily.  But why?  I have seen many people in my family working very hard toward what they want in life and they have been successful.  I know it’s possible.  But the key to that is how hard they worked—and it stands to reason that the manifestation of ones dreams takes infinitely more work that something negative.

Now, I want to be clear that I understand the value and importance of work but I have seen people work themselves to the brink of insanity and still barely get by.  Whether it was their own business or for someone else, there was always a piece of them that appeared to never shut off.  Is it a societal thing?  That we value the appearance of being busy all the time over productivity?  Perhaps.  What is the point of working that hard for so little return?  I personally find it better to work smarter and not harder but those returns are also risky.  When it comes time to put in the work, I think, in my case, I still have engrained fears about what people will think and that it’s necessary for things to be just right before I present them.  But that energy says to the universe that I am not ready to receive the full scope of my dreams until things are also just right.

Learning to let go and to take in what IS allows us to be clear and to adjust as needed.  It is incredibly rare that someone hits a homerun the first time out so I think it’s safe to let go of the notion that things need to be all figured out or all perfect before you are “allowed” to take a shot.  There are inherent risks no matter what stage you jump in, but if you never take the shot then your result will always be the same: nothing.  It is in the open state of learning that we learn to not be attached to the result of our effort and to view it as something we are learning.  Being in a state of learning keeps us open to receiving—and that is when the universe goes into overdrive.

Learn what you can, all you can, whenever you can and apply it in a way unique to you.  That is where the magic is.  That is where the divine flow is.  It is a state of being—neither perfect or imperfect but it just is.  Focus on those moments and you will get much further one step at a time rather than trying to make a perfect whole from the get go.  You don’t go into the kitchen and come out with a cake without breaking the eggs first.  So do the work.  Take the steps.  And manifest wisely—no pressure, just let it happen.  And even if it doesn’t look how you thought it should, trust that it’s what is meant to be.  On those days you’re not seeing the results you’re hoping for, ask what you’re asking for and how you’re doing it.  Readjust and see what happens.  Right thought, right action, release the rest.

Unexpected Changes

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The only kind of love that will fix you is self-love.  It’s been a whirlwind over the last few days but I’m grateful for that storm because it made me really start analyzing things in my life a little deeper.  For as much progress as I’ve made, I was given a hard lesson in how much more I have to learn.  I’ve taken a few days off of posting to absorb this information and decide how things were going to move forward.

The bottom line is that change is delicate work and it is hard work and sometimes when change is in process, your relationships go through something.  The other person often has to learn a new behavior or the dynamic shifts in other ways.  Over the last few months, the changes I’ve been going through have yielded positive results overall, but my relationships have been challenged in new ways.  The people closest to me are seeing new sides of me and seeing me face fears and progress in my life and it’s uncomfortable for some of them.  I believe I have reached another level so to speak, a level where I have to reacclimate and learn again so I can get to the next level.  People around me are learning that they need to adapt as well—and some it would seem may not be willing to come along for the ride.

As I’ve been learning to ease through this transition I am contemplating my relationship with myself as well.  That relationship means more to me than few others.  I spent so many years worried about others and what they thought of me, of ways to make others happy, and how I could make others like me.  Years of this didn’t serve me.  They left me stressed out and often holding the remnants of other people’s dreams while they moved on to other things.  It took me over 35 years to figure out that I didn’t want to continue down that path.  That I was tired of trying to get results out of people.  That my time here was a gift and I was worthy of making it what I wanted—not just what others wanted.

I’ve been open discussing my relationship with my husband here before, and I have not hidden that we have had our share of issues.  Earlier this week, my husband informed me that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be with me anymore.  I was taken aback at first and really sad (and I still am) but I thought and thought about it.  This is a man that I have been with for 19 years, we have shared countless memories together (good and bad), we have a beautiful son together, a home.  And while thinking about these things, it hit me like a flash that if all of these things that I have fought to provide are not enough then there is nothing else I can do.  More accurately, if those are the things that HE no longer wants, then I can’t force him to want to live that life.  There are just some things in this world that time changes and our interests and goals are one of them.  When paths no longer align, it causes more damage to fight to stay than it does to walk away.

Most importantly, as people change so do we, so it’s important to not get so tied up in pouring energy into someone else because that person needs to harness that energy themselves.  Our relationship to ourselves is the most important one we can have because we live with ourselves for our entire lives.  I understood how important it was to make our own lives enriching and joyful independent of being with someone else.  I also understood that steering someone toward your personal goal is not the same as working on it together.  You have to make allowances for what the other person wants as well.  And that is ok—we are all allowed to have goals and visions of what we want.  I spent 19 years working toward what we had agreed upon as a goal as a couple as well as things I wanted for us.  And I thought that was safe—I thought that was what we wanted.  Clearly something has changed along the way.  Maybe it was me wanting more for us and pushing as hard as I did.  Maybe it was a man realizing that he thought he wanted these things as a child and now he no longer does.  Maybe it’s time to learn who we are independent of each other.  Well, that has to happen anyway, but still.

The last few days have made me face some demons because I know I am not innocent in all of this–I won’t put all of this on my husband.  With the exception I feel this came at a time I never anticipated and it could have been broached better—but this is something we did together.  For as much as we started it, we are responsible for its falling apart.  We are also responsible for what happens next.  He hasn’t told me that we are definitively over, he needs time and I will respect that.  I will be taking this time to reconcile with myself.  I will improve my relationship with myself and we will see what happens next.

I believe in sharing vulnerability with honesty and humility.  I believe that people can learn from each other’s mistakes and this is part of one of mine.  I hope that I am able to learn enough about myself in this process that no matter what the final outcome I will be ok—and I hope the same for him.  I know this isn’t the end of my world—it’s not technically the end of anything yet—but I also know that this has to be the end of some habits I’ve had for years, habits that have held me back in a lot of ways, not just in relationships.  This has to be the end of waffling between things I used to do and things I want to do.  The end of childish habits and engrained trauma responses.  I know I need to be better and this is the motivation to drop any guards and jump all in.  No more half-lived pushing, but organized progress and purposeful steps.  That is where the opportunity lies—and who knows what comes next.  I welcome this new phase because no matter what comes of my relationship, this is a chance to connect with myself again.  And regardless of circumstance, we all need that every now and then.

Sunday Gratitude

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I’m struggling to be grateful today.  Honestly, I’m overwhelmed and frustrated and I feel alone.  This week was not easy and I had sincerely hoped for some time to recover this weekend but that hasn’t happened.  I know that it is extremely important to focus on gratitude right now because that is the only thing that can turn my situation around at this point.  So I will try.

I am grateful for my health.  In spite of feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck due to lack of sleep, I am still healthy overall.  I am able to move, I am able to breathe, I can see, I can feel.  I still have the opportunity to improve, but I am still in good health and I don’t take that for granted.

I am grateful for the energy I do have.  While I feel less than myself as of late, I am working on applying my energy more efficiently and toward the things that really matter.  I appreciate the energy I have because that means there is something to direct it towards and a purpose for it.  I can choose what to do with it—and for all of us, choice is everything.

I am grateful for my family.  We are facing our share of challenges at the moment and knowing how to move forward is definitely uncertain.  But my family is here and we have the opportunity to fix the situation.  I chose to commit to them a long time ago and that hasn’t been without its bruises, but I believe that people need time and the opportunity to act to their potential.  No one is perfect and I have to learn to deal with the imperfections in myself as well as in the people I love.

I am grateful to have the means to care for my family and my animals.  The work I do is all to provide a good life for all of them.  The life we all deserve.  I am grateful for the comfort of having our needs met with a little extra.

I am grateful to have found purpose.  I am working diligently toward my goals every day.  Some days the steps are smaller than others, but I do something every day.  Having direction beyond the eat-sleep-pay bills routine is refreshing and comforting.  It’s also exciting because there is so much potential in the work I am doing and I am so grateful for the opportunity to share it.

I am grateful to be working toward the break that I need.  The last few weeks, really since the middle of January, I have felt like I was running on fumes.  I know I am in real need of some time to reconnect with my soul.  Not just time away, but time to reconnect with myself again.  I will be taking some time in a few weeks but I have the opportunity to take more as I need it.

I am grateful to understand the choices I need to make regarding my personal and professional relationships.  Both arenas involve letting go of what people think of me and sticking with the decisions that are right for my path.  They involve not letting other people’s opinions impede what needs to be done.  They involve working toward the change that I advocate for and believe in without being concerned someone won’t like me.

I am grateful to be building my resilience even further.  In the process of aligning with creativity, there are many bumps, ups, downs, feelings of failure, feelings of uncertainty.  It’s all part of the process as you learn what really matters.  All of those things that direct you where you need to be are not a straight line and you have to practice going with it to learn the lesson.  I am working on that every step I take and learning to bounce back faster.

I am grateful to have kept my priorities straight today.  I meal prepped, I took care of the sick animal to the best of my ability, I took care of my child, did laundry, and all the other things that needed to be done.  But I also didn’t let myself wallow in the crap that was this week. I easily could have forgone being grateful in favor of wallowing—but I didn’t.  I know this is the example I want to give to my son.  I want him to be able to say that no matter how tough things are, there is still a lot more to be grateful for—and to believe it and practice it.

I am grateful that as I type this it is early enough in the day that I can still turn the afternoon around and prepare for a better week.  I will continue to work on the things I can and to focus on what is in front of me.  I will let go of speculation and anticipating the worst.  I will keep the best in mind and continue to move forward.  The storm doesn’t last forever.

Choices

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At this moment you have a chance to make a choice that creates change.  This came from the Law of Attraction, Vibe of the Day and I started thinking about choice in general.  I started pondering why we change, why we don’t.  Why we stick where we know we will be stuck.  Why we fight the inconsequential like the defense of our ego but not the defense of another person.  Why the struggle for power over assuming shared responsibility to make a better outcome for all.  In the cosmic sense of things we look at the small picture, seeking to deal with the emotional implications of the situation in front of us rather than the root of the issue.  We don’t think big enough, meanwhile, we micromanage our days because we seek to control in place of purpose.

I know it’s easy to be overwhelmed by purpose so many people give up prior to pursuing it.  But simply, purpose is connection.  It is alignment, natural and fluid. It is not forced.  We are so attached to outcomes because we fear the unknown.  So we fight to control—everything.  We think if we take control of all of the steps and people we encounter in between the start and finish that we know how something will look and feel.  I want to be clear that I am INCREDIBLY guilty of this—I could have written the book on control issues.  But bringing awareness to the behavior is key.  Understanding why you want to control is huge.  There is a fear somewhere inside that won’t let you rest so it comforts us to think we have control—but that is an illusion.

Quite simply, there are a million better ways to spend the energy devoted to controlling things.  Put it toward self-discovery. Goals. Ideas. We can’t get to where we want to be without putting in the work that will get us there.  Wallowing over the minor details won’t get you there any faster so make sure you’re focusing on aligning rather than dictating what happens.  Like an archer, aim true and let go so to speak.

It’s uncomfortable to let go of control because it’s scary.  The only constant in life aside from everything changing is that we will never be able to dictate the outcome no matter how many variables we try to control.  That alone helped me step forward.  Some other things were starting small.  Start with what feels right.  Start with curiosity if you have to—see how the things you’re interested in all link.  Start with intention.  Let it all develop and evolve into the masterpiece you’re creating.  Above all else, no matter what, no matter how unsure or fearful you may be, LISTEN TO THAT CALL.  Hear the yearning of your soul.  Pay attention to the things that quicken your pulse.  THAT is the direction you must go.

In spite of anything you feel you should do, follow what you are called to do.  Anything less will deplete your energy and drain your soul.  You will live a half-life, never fully awake and with only your toe in the water.  For the love of yourself, when you hear something screaming, “This is it!” go do that.

Make the choice to drop the fear and live your authentic self.  Follow your calling and share your gifts because at the end of the day that is what will make you come alive.  Own the power of responsibility that comes when you dive all the way in.  Own the power that comes with belief.  Belief in your abilities.  Belief in the purpose of your actions.  Make the choice to drop the weight of every half-hearted decision and to live with eyes wide open, making one aligned choice at a time.

Hard Work is…Easy?

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I want to talk about a common misconception that work is supposed to be hard.  Our culture dictates that any work that is worth while requires blood, sweat, and tears.  Because of this we tend to feel that if we aren’t slaving over some project that it isn’t worth our time.  We either chalk it up to a hobby and place it on the back burner in favor of other endeavors, work for other people, or we simply ignore it and fall into a routine.  We need to get that out of our heads.

Over the last few months as I have built this business, I have learned a lot about what it requires to achieve personal goals.  I work full time and I have a family (husband, kid, 3 cats, and a dog), and all of my work on these posts comes after all of that is taken care of.  There are nights I have to work late at my job and this still comes after the fact—unless I have posts prepared from the weekend if I have extra time.  I work on these blogs 7 days a week.  It takes a lot of time and I am often tired because of all of the other things I have to get done in a day but I do it every day.  While I was working on this the other day it hit me, none of this feels like work in spite of the fact that I have to plan and prepare and, again, I’m working on this 7 days a week.  I’ve come to realize that the work we are meant to do, while it is WORK because there is a ton of effort required, doesn’t feel like a labor.  It’s a project that I enjoy and gives me meaning.

Now, as I mentioned, there is effort, even in work we enjoy.  I’m a realist and I know that work isn’t all about joy either.  The point of work is to fulfill a purpose but the emotional reaction we have to it is highly entwined with whose purpose it is we are serving.  I read a quote that stated something along the lines of we aren’t tired because we have done too much, but because we have done too little of what ignites our soul.  I immediately thought AMEN when I read that.  It made so much sense.  How often when we wake up in the morning do we immediately think, “I don’t want to go to work today.”?  It’s no wonder it feels so draining—we are immediately resistant to what we have committed to doing.  When we do the things we are drawn to, the energy is totally different—some say we feel more alive.  We feel willing to do the work and it feels like it flows.

To be clear, I’m not saying that work is supposed to be easy, just that we don’t have to have the misconception that it is difficult.  In fact, like with most things in life, much of the result we get or how we feel about it is how we approach what we are doing.  So, really, the point is that even with work that you may not enjoy, try to approach it with an attitude of openness and a willingness to learn.  Try and spend as much time doing the work you love and limit your time with distraction.  We are allowed to invest in ourselves and we are allowed to be happy.  People don’t have to be miserable or stretched thin in a perpetual state of busy to be worthy.  The most worthwhile work is what brings you joy, joy that you can share with others.  If the work for your passion project comes easy, don’t be fooled into thinking “this can’t be it” because the truth is more likely that this is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

Sticking With Your Choices

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I read a post today that said, “Be firm about your choices right now.  Don’t go backwards to habits and situations that weren’t helping you evolve.  You have to keep reminding yourself why you even decided to move forward.  Stay positive about what’s to come by being consistent with your change now.”  Law of attraction Live, Vibe of the Day.

This hit a few points for me, the first is that change doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s easy to fall back into those old habits because you’re not seeing the result you’re hoping for.  It’s also easy because we know our comfort zone like an old friend and are scared to leave it.  We don’t know what is on the other side once we make the decision to be something else.  The other thing I thought about is how change makes people around us uncomfortable because they have to change to match your energy.  Some people can’t handle that and they will fall away.  Don’t ever make that about you.  Don’t give up what you have accomplished to appease someone else’s comfort zone.  It’s bad enough that most of us suffocate within our own little bubble, don’t ever do it inside of someone else’s.

The other side of this is that taking actions that are good for us tend to make US uncomfortable because we don’t want to hurt anyone.  We feel like our successes diminish other people’s chances to accomplish their goals.  The latter part is simply not true because the more we flourish, the more we have available to help others.  And something we are scared to admit is that your life is worth more than someone else’s temporary feeling.  You are allowed to breathe and create and flourish even if it makes others upset.  That energy should elevate others around you, not cause them to bring you down.  So we can’t take it personally when those around us are uncomfortable with our growth.  The only thing we should take personally is our relationship to ourselves; the longest relationship we have is with ourselves so worry about disappointing yourself.  You can walk away from the rest, no matter how hard it is, you can change your story at any time.

It can be scary to walk the path alone for a while but the resilience you build, the confidence you foster, and the skills you develop are unparalleled.  They will serve the person you are meant to be so you can open up to serve your purpose.  So take control of your space—mental and physical.  Set your goals and intentions.  Do the work and watch what happens.  When you think you need to stop, keep going.  The lessons you learn and share with the world can hold the key to someone else’s evolution as well.

These are hard lessons to swallow because we feel guilty—I just talked about that the other day.  The key to get past this is to practice self-acceptance.  Practice pride in who we are as a person.  I’m not talking about ego and arrogantly thinking that what we do is always right I’m talking about being happy for the chance to exist and make something good in our lives that can impact others.  We have a gift in that we are all here now and we have the means to create and we all have unique gifts to share.  Sharing those gifts with the world will ultimately make the world a better place and we can shift to a new state of being.  So focus and when it gets hard or uncomfortable, keep going safe in the knowledge that you are doing what is right.

Small Wins Make Big Results

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I think it’s important from time to time to take a moment and observe.  No pushing, no desiring the next level, no desperate actions.  Just being where you are.  Just looking at where you’re at and acknowledging the accomplishments you’ve made.  Recognize that you are where you need to be because you’ve already made it this far.  It’s ok to enjoy the pause and to celebrate where you’re at.  When you can acknowledge your successes it opens the door for more.  Plus it gives you time to regroup and prepare for the next level without hustling for it.

It’s important to remember that this is how it begins: small.  Innocuous, even.  One breath at a time.  But it begins and we are moved from the before to the after.  One day we are working to make it and then we have made it.  We are changed, we are no longer what we were before.  We are no longer who we were in the before.  We often don’t realize they are happening.  It’s a subtle shift.  What was once tolerable no longer is.  What was funny no longer is.  What used to appeal and the things we wanted no longer seems important.  We grow, and we act according to this new information.  Don’t limit yourself to the confines of what your fears tell you.

Believe in the possibilities because there is real magic in the world.  We can reawaken it.  We show that belief by showing appreciation in the steps along the way.  I’ve spoken before about how we have been trained to only celebrate the big wins, or the overall win.  That mentality diminishes the work we do along the way.  It undermines the small victories.  We have every right to celebrate the steps we take toward our goals because there are people who are afraid to even honor what they really feel let alone take a single step toward what they want.  In a society that trains us to deny what we want, this toxic trait is making people cynical toward themselves.  If we expect to feel any sense of happiness we can’t wait for one moment, one grand goal to bring that to us—every step counts.

For me, I want people to see the beauty in the little things.  The simple things can often mean the most.  Honestly, when I started looking at what I had accomplished it gave me a boost to continue working on the things I wanted.  It gave me the confidence to continue working toward my goals.  I’m talking about everything from being grateful to breathe, to having clothes, to doing something fun that day, to doing whatever little thing it may be that you enjoy—and being in that moment.

There are a lot of moments in life that we gloss over as unimportant.  But when we stop and look at how lucky we are, how blessed we are, you understand that each moment is a gift, not just the end result.  No matter what it is, there is something to be grateful for.  Take the time to find that in every day, celebrate this life because that is where the joy is.  We have to create it—so create it as beautifully as you can.  Start where you are—that’s all you need to do.

Breaking Dysfunction-Haircut Talks

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In nearly every one of the billion self-help books I’ve read, they discuss at one point or another the importance of recognizing your own bullshit.  It goes from every extreme—no one is as pious as they seem and no one is as much a sinner, either.  The point is that regardless of where you are, you have to recognize that position and where you want to go from there before you can move on.  If you don’t own your behavior and accept the responsibility for your role in your own life, you will repeat the lessons until you are forced to.

Yesterday I reached out to my cousin to have my hair cut (and my husband and son’s as well).  After a lot of conversation, I came to realize that we are here to break generational patterns of dysfunction.  We are the people who are here to fix what was done before us.  We are here to bring light to the dark and to work with the tough stuff—not to run from it.  We are trying to make it better.  After our talk, I came to realize a few things:

  1. I can slow down a little. This is my entire life we are talking about—it’s ok to slow down and enjoy it. Constantly wishing to be somewhere else is just wishing my life away and that is a sad waste of time.
  2. I am in a great place to move forward. With a little bit of elbow grease, I can move closer to goal.
  3. Putting continued pressure on my family and myself for things to be a certain way is just going to break us. It’s going to break me because I never leave much time to relish or take in where I’m at.  I just keep looking at the next goal.  I look at achievements as stepping stones—they aren’t a foundation.  They add to it and build it, but one stone can’t support the weight of a dream so you need to keep building.
  4. I need to take much better care of myself. I really love my life, I want to be healthy enough to enjoy it.
  5. My choices and actions, big or small, determine the result. If I don’t like how something is, I can change it.
  6. Everything changes. We are responsible for adapting.  We can plan and plan but the universe will have its way so we need to find balance between what we want and what is.  Make the choice to be flexible.
  7. Let it go. Let it flow—but don’t get sloppy or lazy.  Just because we can’t control it all doesn’t mean we don’t control our reactions.  You have to move with it.
  8. I don’t need to keep this anxiety. It’s not real anyway.  I have a lot to be grateful for and I am on my way to more.  My energy is much better spent on things that benefit others rather than on inconsequential or perceived things.
  9. As everything changes, nothing is permanent. Life is always in flux so where we are at now is not where we will always be.  Don’t let the anxiety over a current situation take over.
  10. Living in the past or future doesn’t change where you are. Learn to be present

In the spirit of transparency, that talk with my cousin kicked me in the ass.  I saw things in myself that I’ve created.  I barely slept last night thinking about it over and over again and I knew the repeating thoughts were also my choice.  They were the same useless thoughts repeating and inflicting new wounds.  Truth is I felt like I deserved to hurt for a long time because of the blessings I have.  I used to think that to have something good, you also need to hurt and that was just how it worked.  All of this fear, anxiety, and negativity I inflicted on myself and on others was for nothing.  Everything is fixable—I had to learn to look at it another way.  Making mistakes comes with being human so we have to learn to take ownership of the learning opportunities as well.

The other thing I know I need to own is that I’ve had the habit of pretending to be a victim and holding myself back while blaming other people for me not moving forward.  I know I have to own my power and accept it.  I know that I can do better and that I haven’t taken the full, fearless leaps.  I haven’t taken them because I am afraid of having responsibility for something when I’m not even sure what it is yet.  I have had a hard time garnering support around my home so it’s easy to let the things I want to do fall to the wayside in favor of the things I need to do.  But it isn’t an excuse.  Marie Forleo wrote on her page the other day “If it’s that important to you you’ll make the time, if not you’ll make an excuse.”  Yes it’s tiring to do it all, but if it’s getting me closer to what I really want to do then I have to do it.

The last thing that went through my mind in all of this was how we are simultaneously too hard and too soft on ourselves.  We are hard on ourselves for the every day mistakes, the things that can be fixed but we attach some sort of stigma to.  We are too hard on our mental state as we push ourselves to the limit in so many ways to keep up and our minds, bodies, and souls just can’t handle that speed.  At the same time we allow ourselves to talk about what we will do someday (without taking action) and binge watch T.V. or eat another package of cookies because we don’t feel comfortable dealing with what brought us here.  We aren’t comfortable looking within and finding the answers we need to tap our full potential.  We are afraid to stray from what we know and what it will mean if we do something different.  Believe me, we are strong enough to say “I need to redirect my focus and I am no longer going to do things that don’t serve my purpose, my soul, and the life I am trying to build.”  That is the scariest step to take because it puts us on unfamiliar ground with a lot of people.

The truth is that unfamiliar ground can be molded into what we need for a foundation.  It puts us in a position to dig deep and figure out what we can really do.  It shows us where the depth is.  If you want to make changes and do something different with your life, you need to do the uncomfortable work.  Learn where you are strong and figure out a way to play to that.  Learn where you are weak and try to strengthen it.  Above all, don’t take any crap, least of all from yourself.  Life is hard enough so be gentle enough on yourself to allow the course to unfold, but disciplined enough to say, “I can do better.”  And then do better—it will only bring you closer to who you want to be in the end.

Sunday Gratitude

time lapse photography of railway and building during nighttime

Photo by Vishal Shah on Pexels.com

Today I am grateful for completion.  We managed to finish several projects we’ve been procrastinating on and it feels amazing.  I also was able to do a ton of food prep this week—not just lunches, but dinners and a snack as well.  It felt like an incredibly productive day.

Today I am grateful for the amazing little moments.  This morning while I was doing all of my meal prep, my son came in the room and he helped me put together the last of the snacks by rolling them in coconut for me.  He had an absolute blast and it was the first time he got to do more than just watch me—which he loves doing that as well—but he impressed me and really helped out.  It’s pretty awesome to watch my little man grow up.

Today I am grateful for spontaneity.  While we were waiting for laundry to get done and for a few other miscellaneous things to finish, we had the opportunity to run as a family and get our hair cut.  It was nice to get all of our hair done at once.  Since my cousin cuts hair, it was also a nice chance to see her and catch up.

Today I am grateful for extra snuggles.  Right before we decided to go get our hair cut, my son and I snuggled on the couch together and laughed and got cozy under the blankets.  I feel so fortunate to have such an affectionate son.

Today I am grateful for a level headed husband.  There were a lot of emotions today and a lot of chaos but he kept going forward.  I had wanted to get some of this work done yesterday so I was a little frustrated but we managed to pull it off today.

Today I am grateful for trying a new routine.  The last two mornings I have been up relatively early and the first thing I have done is take care of the dog and then the cats.  After the dog ate, I then took her out for another walk.  Moving my body first thing in the morning isn’t something I usually have the time to do and it felt amazing.  It made me realize how much I sit and how much more I need to move.

Today I am grateful for the new perception of time.  I struggle with anxiety related to time and not getting things finished when I feel they should be.  As I was enjoying the walk/run I took with the dog this morning, I realized that all of the pressure I put on myself related to time is just that: pressure I put on myself.  Things always get done.  Always.  Going with the situation and doing what needs to be done is much easier than fighting it.

Today I am grateful for my bed.  As I write this, I’m thinking of what a busy weekend it has been and I am looking forward to sleep.  I’m proud I’ve been moving things forward again because it means that I am working toward my goals—and making progress.  But I am enjoying the process.  It feels better taking action than it does sitting and waiting for something to happen.  Small Steps for Big Results.