“When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
I know I haven’t posted in a while, and posting this will be a teaser, because I probably won’t post again for quite some time, but I feel like with the new year looming I should give my thoughts on 2018.
I was thinking yesterday about what I wanted my new years resolution to be and I realized that the definition of the new years tradition holds less importance to me than before. Its definition implies you actively have something in your life that you would like to change and dedicate the next year to doing so (with the expectation of not actually having to really follow through with it for more than a month or two). I feel SO BLESSED to no longer fit this category. I no longer feel like I’m chasing the life I dream of, but I’m living it and growing into it. – NOBODY IS PERFECT.
About a year and a half ago I embraced mindfulness and meditation. I was a Breathing Based Mindfulness Therapist for a study at my previous institution, and in order to administer the therapy they require you engage in the treatment yourself. It changed my life. I was one of the most anxious people you would ever meet. Always second guessing myself. Always thinking “what if…” Always confused and walking around on eggs shells. Then I read The Power of Now, along with The Book of Joy, to better understand the concepts of my training and how to truly implement them into my life. It was like a light-bulb began to shine brighter and brighter inside of me.
Incredibly crude and simplified, but relevant:
WHY FRET OVER THINGS YOU CAN’T CHANGE? YOU EITHER DO SOMETHING OR YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING. IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO DO ANYTHING THEN STOP BEING UPSET. IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO SOMETHING THEN FOCUS ON THAT, AND STOP BEING UPSET. EITHER WAY BEING UPSET SERVES NO PURPOSE.!
During this time, I learned how to tactfully and respectfully remove myself from people’s lives that were no longer serving me. By serving me I don’t mean materialistically or opportunistically, but emotionally: Stimulating my mind and promoting growth in me in the same way I hope to promote growth in them. I began to surround myself with likeminded energy that feeds my soul as well as inspires my mind. I learned to let go of any anger or hatred I’d been harboring towards anyone. I learned it’s okay for me not to vibe with people, but to actively dislike them is a waste of my valuable energy. Approach them with no judgements or anticipation. If you cannot remove them from your life then learn to live with them without expectation and therefore without anger or disappointment. – FEELING LOVED.
About two and a half years ago I fully discovered the worth of my body and my mind. I gained a confidence, that while not arrogant or conceited, recognizes my worth as a strong female. I realized that I am special, unique, and wonderful, and giving my body to just anyone without them being well tried was like giving the winning trophy to the first person that enters the contest. I qualify this by saying I was never promiscuous, and hold nothing against those who are (however you choose to define that term), but going from maybe I will to I definitely won’t is still a huge change. The last two and a half years I’ve been able to rid myself of any access male sludge looking for the wrong things, while cultivating stimulating and amazing relationships with the right people, built on the right things. – FEELING FULFILLED.
About two years ago I went vegan. I honestly didn’t think it would last, and especially due to my heavy involvement in eating disorders research I do approach veganism with a more relaxed mindset. Side note: It is never healthy for anyone to hold steadfast to any food rule, unless there is a major health risk associated to its consumption. I strive to value the environment and my body to the fullest extent. When I fall short I do not punish myself, but understand that regardless of my food rules my body FIRST AND FOREMOST needs nourishment, and starving until I can reach my next vegan meal is never an option.
Through veganism I have learned a new form of self-love. I only put into my body what will serve it and nourish it. The energy and vitality I feel from providing my body with exactly what it needs is indescribable. Within two weeks of being vegan I had more energy. I was sleeping better. My skin cleared up. My hair, skin, and nails began to grow faster (which may not be important to you, but I really would like to have long hair lol). My body leaned out, preserving the right amount of muscle and fat (I also maintained a healthy workout regimen and carb-loaded before workouts). I could continue with the list, but I think you get the point, it made it so much easier to concentrate in work, school, and meditation/yoga. – FEELING HEALTHY.
About 8 months ago, before I packed up and moved again I engaged in a huge purge of all of my things. I kept only the things that brought me joy. I read Marie Kondo’s books, which helped immensely. By putting my physical hands on everything I own and getting rid of everything that didn’t bring me joy, unless it was a necessity (like a broom, or a heavy winter coat, etc.) I systematically worked through my entire apartment. At first it seemed impossible, because I just had so many things, but it was amazing how many of those things added absolutely nothing to my quality of life. They didn’t bring me joy, and I question whether they ever really did or just served to fill a void.
Once I learned to fill my life with things that really mattered to me and the people that really loved and valued me, the materialistic things I used to fill my voids no longer served the same purpose. I began to look at all of the things around me as clutter and roadblocks to truly peaceful living. Once I removed the extra and was again left on my own, to evaluate myself, I learned still so much about me. Growth is never a reach the end of the road type deal, or a once a year I’ll add in this one good thing until eventually I reach the “promise land of peace.” It’s a fluid evaluation and continuation of personal growth throughout your entire life. There will never be a time when I cannot learn more about myself to cultivate more peace both within and for the people around me. By ridding my life of extraneous materialistic items, I allowed myself to grow and nurture/treasure myself in ways I had not yet explored. – FEELING PEACEFUL.
I say all of this to say, the only thing I want to do in 2018 is to continue to build the life I have worked so hard to set up for myself. So, I guess I do have a resolution. Unconventional as it may be, I have no specific pieces to fit into place, but simply a desire to continue living a mindful, gracious, and peaceful existence. I want to value, every day, the things that have been presented to me in this life, and work to never allow the suffering of the world to dampen my desire to change it, as well as myself.
May all of you find love, wholesomeness, peace, and prosperity in 2018.