Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Celebrate Yourself + 3 Simple Tips


Odds are you're striving to become a better you. To be yourself, only amplified. You know, kickin' it up a notch and going all next level. You have plans. Big ones. The lists are long but the fire within you is burning bright and you're more determined than ever before.

But... have you ever thought to yourself...

I'll be happy once I'm eating healthy/in better shape.
I'll be happy once I've mastered my craft.
I'll be happy once I stop doing 'this' and start doing 'that.'
I'll be happy once I _____________________.

Stop.

Seriously.

Right now!

You are not the same person you were. You've changed. You're different than you were a year ago. 6 months ago. Last week. Just yesterday. You're smarter, wiser, stronger, and more capable. The cold hard truth is you're constantly changing. And that's a truth that's worth celebrating.

It's so easy to get caught up in the "future state" that we forget to live in the here and now. You're guilty of it. I'm guilty of it. And if you aren't, puh-leeease send me whatever magical juice you're drinking, 'cause I'd be all over that.

The funny thing is, while we're busy living in the future - making plans, mapping out what we want to do, where we want to be, how we want to live... we're unintentionally criticizing what we already have. What we've already accomplished. And I don't know about you, but getting to the here and now took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. While the roads may have been bumpy, I still travelled the distance, coming out on the other side in a whole new light.

Today, let's try something a little different. Instead of day-dreaming, planning, mapping, go-getting... scale it back, live in the right now, and celebrate the beautiful being that you are. (Because that other cold hard truth is that you/we/I don't do it nearly enough.)

1. RECOGNIZE YOUR STRENGTHS
You got 'em. Sing it from the rooftops. What I find works best for me is to actually write them down. My thoughts are runnin' about a million miles a minute, so it's easy for me to get lost in them. Before I know I've hopped over a fence, ran three laps around the racetrack, and am on to something else entirely. (My bad!) Also, you know what they say, seeing is believing, my friends. Write. It. Out. Have you recently revived a muscle that use to resemble a jell-o like substance? Have you been choosing to eat nourishing foods? Are you the person your friends go to when they need advice? An engaging writer? An inspired photographer? Can you whip up a D.I.Y. project like its nobody's business? You are so much more than you realize, tap into what makes you, you.

2. GIVE YOURSELF SOME MUCH NEEDED DOWNTIME
Whenever life gets busy, our go-to reaction is to put ourselves last. (The usual, "Oh.. I'll get to that. Later.") What if instead, we always put ourselves first? To make sure you always set aside some time to recharge.  I don't know about you, but I've always needed time to myself to feel refreshed and re-energized. Which, ever since I was little, was dubbed as "me time". (A rather inventive and original name, I know.)
What makes you feel the most relaxed? Is it a bubble bath complete with candles and deliciously-scented soaps? Writing out your thoughts in a journal? Giving yourself a facial? Stretching first thing in the morning? Laying out your meditation pillow and enjoying the calm? Whatever it is, carve out your own "me time". It could be something as simple as setting aside as little as 15 minutes just for you. You'll quickly realize that once you've taken care of yourself, you'll feel so much happier and fulfilled, then everything else will follow effortlessly.

3. BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF
This is a big one! Of epic proportions. And something I've learning more and more about every single day. What do we do when we're down? We kick ourselves.

Oh, so you failed at something? Yea, well... you deserved it.

Doesn't that sort of thinking sound backwards? You wouldn't say that to anyone - not your family, your friends, your loves in life, so why-oh-why would you begin to say it to yourself? Be gentle with yourself. Learn to shrug it off, learn from your mistakes, and move forward. Living in the past will only keep you in the past.

I'm intentionally saying "learn to" because that's what it takes. It takes time, commitment, and effort to teach yourself this kind of self-love. It may not come easily, you might slip on occasion, and that's okay. Loving yourself is essential to true happiness and each moment focusing on negativity - thinking you're not enough, or not doing enough - strips you of the happiness you deserve.

LOVE YOUR WAY FORWARD
Hurting someone else will never ease your own pain. Feeling sorry for yourself and sabotaging your own life won’t make anything better.

If you’re disappointed in yourself, or frustrated with others, the answer is not to find someone to take it out on. Retribution, whether against yourself or others or both, brings nothing of value into your life.

The way beyond the pain is not with sarcasm, intimidation, revenge or violence. The only real way beyond the pain is with love.

Forgive others, forgive yourself, forgive the past, and love your way forward. Love is never easy, yet it is easily the most powerful and positively enduring choice.

If you’re feeling pain, don’t make the choices that will make even more pain. Make the choice that will enable you and your world to move forward toward a more fulfilling life.

There is always something good you can do. Fill your heart with genuine love, and act in everyone’s best interest.
— Ralph Marston

Give yourself some kudos, a powerful high five, and celebrate the magnificent person that you've become.

Image: The Minimalista (original credit unknown)

12 comments:

  1. I was meant to discover you blog today. I'm a mom, wife and full time student. After 4+ looong years, I am in my last semester. Changes, they are are a-coming. Despite all my successes, I am so hard on myself! My GPA? I can do better. That paper? It's not enough that it won a prize thanks to being the voted the best in my class by my peers. It's exhausting! I've bought clothes based on how they'd fit if I lost 20 pounds. My goal this year (and forever): work every day to find balance. And let myself off the hook once in a while. Great post! I'm so happy to now be following along.

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    1. First of all, congratulations! That's a lot to juggle and it sounds like you're doing it fabulously! I think that finding that balance "sweet spot" is the ultimate goal, but it's proven to be challenging... especially when we're wearing so many hats throughout the day. Every once in a while, you just have hang up your cape, and just soak it all in, you know? Not everyone could achieve what you have.

      I'm so happy that the post resonated with you. Here's to being a little more gentle with ourselves :)

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  2. these are great. i love how you say we have changed even from yesterday. i don't think many of us see it that way always replying: oh you know, same ol', same ol'. but it's true we change constantly and it is worth celebrating. great post!

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    1. I'm so guilty of doing that too! It seems to be the canned speech we're so use to saying that it just immediately comes out of our mouths before we realize it. Maybe the trick is recognizing even the smallest things that shape you... a conversation, an article you read, whatever it is, just knowing that our days aren't "the same old stuff."

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  3. I swear every post you write is better than the last one! Its taken me a long time, but I've finally managed to get past that "I'll be happy when..." mindset. I'm still guilty of spending too much time focusing on the future though!
    Taking time for myself is something that I've realised is crucial to my happiness. I enjoy being around people, and I adore my family & friends - but I need quite a bit of 'alone time' as well (introvert much?!). I find that when I'm stressed about something I stop taking care of myself - which doesn't help at all! Its a work in progress but I think I'm getting better ;)

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    1. Thank you! That means so much :) And you're right, it definitely takes time to move past that mindset. It can be a frustrating road to follow, but I love how you're giving yourself props for making progress.

      And I can be SUCH an introvert, so I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes you just gotta shut out the world! Nothin' wrong with that :)

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  4. I love this post so much I've bookmarked it. I'm working my way through getting over the I'll be happy when, stage. I've realised that isn't how life works, and as you say we're constantly changing, evolving and wanting different things. I've found that if I try and give myself a day a week to do nothing then I'm much more motivated to do everything I want too.

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    1. I'm the same way! Taking care of myself has slowly been shifting to priority number uno, and since then, I've noticed such a change in how I approach other things too. I'm so happy to hear it's something you've recognized and are now working towards the "I'm happy" (PERIOD!) stage. If we let ourselves stay in the "I'll be happy when...", then we'll never get out of it. There will always be something else.

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  5. These are great tips! i am definitely guilty i always thinking i'll be happier once i do ____ . Great reminders to be happy in the now!

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  6. This is really beautiful, Allie. I love that "celebrate you" mentality. And you're right, why do we always pick others up but insist on bringing ourselves down? It's not fair! Thank you for challenging my thinking and inspiring happy thoughts today.

    PS> love your blog design & feel. It's lovely.

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