Choosing “Balance”

Now that we’re a few months into 2017, it’s safe to reflect back on 2016 with the eyes of an outsider and really be critical of how the year went. Are you happy with how you spent 2016? Do you feel content? Or do you wish you could go back and tell yourself to get your crap together and accomplish more? It’s okay if you have regrets…. it’s NOT okay to spend 2017 doing the same things so when you look back this time next year, those same regrets are still weighing you down. It’s time for some tough love here my friends. We may still have 10 months left of this year, but 2 have already slipped through our fingers while we complained about the snow and wished for summer.

I recently was introduced to the concept of picking a “word of the year”. This practice encourages you to pick a word that resonates with your goals, ambitions, and hopes for the year ahead. It is used to help guide you as you navigate through the next 365 days. This is my first year doing this, so it’s going to be as much of an experiment for me as it is for you.


Here’s what I was told as advice to picking my word:

  • Think about how you want to feel.
  • Use your intuition.. Does a certain word come to mind immediately? That might be it.
  • Choose a word that can be applied to all areas of your life.
  • It can be ANYTHING. If it feels right, it is.

 

I entered this year wanting to feel refreshed and rejuvenated…but really just felt tired. The past few years have drained me in every conceivable way. I moved out on my own for the first time. I lost two jobs because of my school schedule. My part-time night graduate program turned out to be a full time job on its own. My boyfriend and I worked opposite schedules and only saw each other to sleep. We struggled financially. I lost loved ones, both to distance and death. My dog broke his leg and the subsequent surgeries to save his leg put us in debt. It was just a lot, all the time. My retrospective word for 2015 is “rough”. The same goes for 2016. I don’t want my 2017 to be defined in the same way. Actually, I freaking REFUSE to let that happen.

I’d be willing to bet that you can guess what my word for 2017 is….

a

Every decision and action that I take this year is going to be in an effort to find balance in my life. Without balance, the plates that I have spinning are going to continue to wobble until they eventually crash down around me. As someone who’s spent some time with a glue gun in the past, trust me that it’s much harder to glue back the broken pieces and get them spinning again than it is to keep them up in the air.

So in 2017 I’m going to find balance. I’ve already made a few changes to find it. School is not my primary occupation anymore, because it shouldn’t be all consuming. I’m doing more of what I love each day. I’m practicing self-care.  I’m looking for balance in my body.  I’m reading for the benefit of my personal growth. I’m trying.

So far, the plates are still wobbling. But I’m feeling much more steady on my feet as I watch them spin.

What’s your word for 2017? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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Take a break already, would ya?!

We spend SO much of our days doing things that we don’t want to do. We work, we exercise, we clean, we run errands, we take care of our families, we cook, we study. The list goes on and on and on. The world is full of people sprinting full speed through their day, just trying to get to the moment where they can crash into bed exhausted.  If you’re like most of the 20-,30-,40- somethings in our world today I’m sure you can relate to this on most days.

But, why? Isn’t that just so silly?  At this moment, I’m willing to bet that you’re probably sitting somewhere reading this, feeling guilty because you “should” be doing x,y, and z. Or maybe you’re on break at work, trying to frantically eat, scroll through your phone, and prepare for a meeting all at the same time. And you’re thinking that I’m ridiculous for even saying this because of course x, y, and z needs to happen and it’s unrealistic to think of doing anything differently because there’s just not enough time in the day.

Woof. My train of thought actually got a little frantic and shriek-y as I typed that out because it seriously hits way too close to home. I promise I’m not sitting on a high horse as I write this. Most days I’m right there with everyone, lacing up my running shoes and death gripping my to-do list like it’s my lifeline. (Translation: trying to keep my shit together until I get to be home to stress cry about what I didn’t make it to on my list and finally sleep.)

I’m going to get deep with you guys for a minute here. I used to take pride in not caring for myself. I’d brag; ” I only slept 3 hours last night. Ugh!” or, “I’ve been living on caffeine for days!”  or even, “Oh my gosh, I literally haven’t had anything with actual nutrition in it all week.” Because it’s normal, no, expected that you be exhausted, drained, and pulled in so many directions that your health actually suffers. I felt validated and worthy the more tired, stressed, and overwhelmed I was. It really does seem ridiculous when you see it in writing like that, doesn’t it?

Enter the concept of self-care.  It might be something that you practice every day or it might just be a word you see “trendy” people throwing around on Facebook. If you fall into the later category, you’ve come to the right place my friend.

It’s pretty easy when you break it down: Self-care is a necessary function of human life in order to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Simply put, people who practice regular self-care are happier. And yet for some people, the idea of self-care is like a unicorn. Beautiful, but not real.

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about how to get you to become one of those mythical Facebook friends who dare to talk about the fact that they take time for themselves each day. It’s time that people who practice self-care come out of hiding and be proud of the fact that they prioritize themselves. If you don’t do it, I promise you that you’ll have a hard time finding others who prioritize you either.

Everyone is busy, I get it. I’m personally writing this at 9PM after working all day because I didn’t have time to get to it earlier. But with that said, I won’t still be sitting here at midnight editing my grammar so that it’s perfect to post tomorrow. No one will notice if I post it an hour later than normal tomorrow, and I’ll be happier all day tomorrow because I’ll have gotten enough sleep to conquer my day. Self-care my friends. Self-care.

My point is it doesn’t have to take hours to give yourself a little love. Eat a salad at lunch instead of a burger. Take a walk on your lunch instead of working through. Listen to an audio book you’ve been meaning to read while you drive home. Put your phone on airplane mode for an hour. Take a bath. Meditate. Take your pups for a nice walk. Paint your toes. Be grateful. This list can go on and on and on too.

You deserve self-care. You are worth it. So take a damn break already, would ya?!

 

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Change is good! Really, I promise.

As much as I may try to fight it, time continues to pass and things around me continue to change. I used to HATE change. I fought it with every ounce of me, anchoring my feet to the floor and closing my eyes as if that would stop the world from turning. I fought moving into college, not being able to bear the thought of leaving my high school friends. Then I fought graduating from the same place I didn’t want to go in the first place, for the same reason. How silly is that? All this fighting just made everything harder and in the process I closed my mind to the idea that there might be even more people waiting to enter my life on my next adventure. If I had just stopped struggling, I would have been much more inclined to see that there was some good coming my way if I could just let the universe do its thing.

I notoriously used to tell people, “I don’t do well with change”. What the heck does that even mean? I don’t do well with change. That’s like saying that you don’t do well with your hair growing. It happens every day without asking for permission, and I bet you don’t even notice it until 8 weeks have passed and all of a sudden you realize your bangs can fit in your ponytail finally. Change is the same way, it can be so subtle that one day you wake up and realize that you’re not the same person you used to be. You might have different interests and goals. And guys, that’s OKAY. I promise. Just roll with it.

The thing that really opened my eyes to the fact that change equals growth was Young Living. Before even considering the business, using the oils shifted my focus to this whole new group of amazing people that were waiting to support me and help me grow.

To be completely honest I didn’t dive right in. At first I thought the concept of self-help books, manifesting, meditation, and growth work was a little coo coo bananas. So I sat on the sidelines and watched my new friends do all of these crazy things, and to my surprise, accomplish all of these crazy things too. I started to dip my toes in and before I knew it I was splashing around in the middle of everyone, manifesting my ass off.

“Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death.” — Jen Sincero

So, change is good. Let that really settle in. I’m not saying that everyone should quit their jobs, get tattooed, and find a new pack of friends to hang out with in order to be happy. But if you hate your job or your friends are serious Debbie Downers, maybe that’s where you should start. Go ahead, roll on some stress away oil, tell your friend Karen that she sucks for always putting down your ideas, and go do some of them already!

It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s called growing pains for a reason, right? Leaving the comfort zone that I spent years carefully building for myself was a real struggle. But I found out that once I was able to open my mind to change there was a whole new awesome reality just waiting for me. And guys, it’s been so worth it.

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