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The most frustrating thing about calling on change in your life is the waiting period — the lull before you see the results, and then.. the growing pains. The learning curves, the four steps forward, five steps back. (I feel like I always say that wrong.. is that how the saying goes?! haha). You get my point. Change is hard and it can be incredibly uncomfortable, regardless of how badly we’re calling it in.
I’ve changed a lot throughout my life, but NO more than I have these past few months within my spiritual journey, my profound understanding and implementation of mindfulness into my day to day life, and the intense understanding of not only WHO I am, but WHY I am — my purpose here on this Earth. Talk about growing pains — holy F. Going through this process and learning SO much about myself in such a short period of time was at times incredibly hard to digest — so much so it was bringing on headaches, lack of sleep, heart flutters, etc. But it was all for the greater good.
The more in depth I went to understand myself, the more answers I received, and the easier it was to kick out the bad habits that were holding me back (impulse spending, wine out of boredom or habit, looking for external validation, etc). It was like I took a permanent vacation from my old life that was quite honestly — hard to live in. I spent so many of my days writing about what I WISH I could feel, what I HOPED I would feel, and now.. here I am, writing about how I DO feel. My eyes are welting up just writing that statement, because it’s so authentically true. I’m finally at home in my own body, and I want to share with you a few of the ways that I got here. Because if I can make the transition even just a little easier for any of you who are hungry for positive change, well then I’ve done all I came here to do.
5 habits that drastically changed my life
I know — you’re not surprised considering I literally talk about this SO much on this blog. It’s because I believe in it’s power and it’s ability to awaken us simply by writing what we FEEL, without hesitation, judgement or fear.
Living based on intuition.
Sounds strange, works like a charm. My life has such intense flow and high vibrations when I live my life based purely on my intuition and what feels good in that moment. If I sit down to write one day and my insides are like “NOPE” — well guess what, I just did myself a favor, because what I wrote would have either been garbage or it would have come from a place of force — which is anything but authentic. I even extend this type of lifestyle to what I eat. What sounds good to my body? What am I actually CRAVING? (most of the times it’s citrus or something crunchy). When we give ourselves permission to tune in and listen to our insides, we stop fighting so much and living off of all the “shoulds” – which quite frankly, are such a waste of our energy.
This one has been by FAR the most challenging for me. Taking pause in any situation — such as responding to an email, an idea, an argument, someone asking for advice, responding to plans, etc. I’ve always been a bit impulsive (eh em, previous spending habits) and it always left me in trouble. The biggest struggle for me here is that I’m an empath. I tune in so deeply to emotions and other people’s energies — so it’s easy for me to respond immediately with x, y, or z (and generally a LOT of emotion on top of it). By practicing pause (a major mindfulness practice), I give myself the permission to think on the subject at hand, to digest and process, and to evaluate what I want out of this exchange.
Let’s create an example:
My friend comes up to me feeling frustrated with her partner. “He snapped at me in the middle of his family party for making a comment that was supposed to be funny.”
It’s definitely less than ideal and not an exchange any of us wants to be a part of — but we’re living the human experience and many of us sharing it with another person, so we’re bound to encounter something similar to this. So when she asks me how I would respond or what she should do, I do the following:
• Say to her, “hmmm.. let me think about this for a second” — this buys me time and lets her know that I’m coming from a place of compassion, not just telling her what I THINK she wants to hear (responding impulsively isn’t being a good friend)
- I tell her, in this case, she is not wrong. I acknowledge her position in this exchange as anything but ideal, and that she has every right to feel upset and frustrated. (I would also do the opposite, if that felt warranted)
- Because I’ve taken the time to pause and evaluate, I’ve reached what my desired “end goal” is: for she and her partner to have a loving exchange that both results in a lesson (which is that he can’t speak to her like that, and that he feels heard and held in whatever messy space his head is at) — because clearly he’s not in a good space when he’s saying those things to his partner.
- I’m now able to tell her that I assume this came from a place of stress for him, and instead of coming from a place of “that was so rude, don’t ever talk to me like that again” I can tell her that saying something more along the lines of “I’m not entirely sure why you felt compelled to talk to me like that back there, but I just want to say that my intentions are never to leave you feeling stressed. I’m sorry if I triggered you, but you absolutely can’t talk to me like that — we don’t do that in this relationship. We respect each other, and we’re in it together.”
This scenario can easily be applied to your life (and mine!) when we arrive in a conflict similar to this one (cause I’m sure we will) — it’s absolutely not just based on advice that you can give to your friends, but advise that you can follow for yourself. You know what I mean? Take pause, find your end goal for how you want this to be resolved, and see both sides.
Unplugging all morning.
I pretty much refuse to check my phone before 11am, because it puts me in this funky head space that makes me feel rushed. This includes checking and responding to text messages, checking my email and opening up Instagram. No, no, and no. Not until I’ve got a clear idea of what I need from the day, am I willing and able to take on other people’s agendas and energies. I can’t serve anyone that way — I learned that the hard way ;)
Tip: If you work corporate, I totally understand that you can’t do it quite the same way — but let me offer up a scenario for you if it’s something that interests you: wake up a little earlier (even just 30 minutes than usual) and write in your journal. Get grounded with yourself and figure out what it is you need from your day before you leave for the office. Practice NOT checking your emails until you sit down at your desk from work. You’re there ALL day — give yourself permission to be checked out when you SHOULD be checked out. You owe yourself this time. Don’t use it to check Instagram, either. I promise you it’s not doing you any favors. Instead, read a book (if you’re a train commuter), opt in for a podcast or listen to some calming music.
Setting daily and weekly intentions.
This has literally made me fall in love with Sunday nights and Monday mornings,. Drafting up and thinking about what my weekly intention is going to be on Sundays makes me feel inspired for the week ahead. Come Monday morning when I’ve grasped what I want it to be, it feels gratifying and motivating to put it down on paper. This week, for instance, is all about getting ahead. Writing from the soul space so that I’m able to put energy into my other projects that I feel really passionate about. When I give myself the permission to follow my weekly intention, things just flow. I have a plan.
Similar to this, I also set a daily intention. Today’s daily intention is to spend extra time outside, even though it’s 1,000 degrees. I always feel so much better when I get some fresh air in my lungs, especially when I’m writing a lot. I need that break and that pull from nature to stay connected and speak from a true, authentic place.
So there they are — the 5 habits that have drastically changed my life.
Noticed how I didn’t say something like “eating vegan” or “going to the gym every day” or “waking up earlier”? Not that these things are bad! They’re fantastic and I’ve done all 3 at some pint in my life (fun fact: I was vegan for 5 years!) — but the point I’m making is that they don’t have to feel obvious. They can be small and obscure (i.e. drink a cup of green tea in the middle of the day because it brings you clarity and makes you feel warm). It can be WHATEVER it needs to be for you. This life is all about listening to your insides, and to learn through mindful living how to be your biggest and most trusted advocate. x
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