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 _____________________.
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 FORWARDHurting 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)