Occasionally, someone has to be the bad guy. You know that one friend who really wants you to succeed so they tell you something you really don’t want to hear. Well, that’s me today.
Life is going to be a million different things for you. It’s going to be beautiful and brilliant one moment and the next is going to suck big time. You’re going to be up one moment only to be smacked down again a minute later. You’re going to be minding your own business going to your “routine” doctor’s appointment and then you get told that a few more tests are needed. So you panic…and go from point A to Z in your head in a matter of minutes. But the bottom line is, it’s your reaction that counts. It’s what you do in those terrible moments that define you.
I remember getting the news that I had a few incurable diseases. If not treated, they could have killed me, yes. But I was 23 years old so you know, I probably had the same amount of time as others ahead of me. That was before I was even married, before I even really thought about being a mom, before I said yes to my first real job and before I had ever even bought a house, experienced the joy of paying bills and taxes and whatever being an adult encompassed.
Some of you have heard this part before, but for those who want to learn more here are a few posts from the early days, and the rest of you can keep reading after this:
So, I do get it folks. I do. In full disclosure…I don’t mind pissing people off with the truth. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s liberating, sometimes it’s messy and ugly and then you wake up the next day and you feel amazing! Why? Because maybe you weren’t fully being honest with yourself about who you are and maybe you were hiding living in your truth. So that “courage” it took you to finally speak your truth feels better. Like you are finally living in your own skin. Well, it’s time for you to stop telling yourself these things.
Lies that keep you from moving forward:
- I will never _____. The truth is, if you start something off with that, you won’t. Period. I will never find a person who loves me (says your mind, or your status). I will never get that promotion. Oh that can never be me. It won’t. Not with that attitude. So what does one do with this? You take baby steps with your mind. Okay, right now the situation seems out of my control. So what can I control? My reaction. My thoughts. My ability to change me. I will one day feel amazing again. I just know it. <<< So that was my head after 5 years of pain. Straight and constant pain daily had almost gotten me to I will never…and I realized that I had to do something drastic. I had to start saying “One day I will….” and I got there.
- They are just lucky. You have convinced yourself that someone else is more entitled to a share of luck than you are. You are therefore not as lucky and will never have whatever it is. What you don’t know is that “they” have worked their ass off for whatever it is. They have felt defeat so many times it wasn’t funny. They were trying their best one day and were on the 50th time of trying to get ahead when it finally happened for them. So what can you do? Start small again. This is exactly what I teach my Club. Look, I never knew the word “manifestation”. I didn’t watch the “Secret” and I don’t care what that secret was because I know I have it figured out. I believed that “it” whatever it was, was going to happen for me. So in the beginning, it was just to live without pain. That was enough for me because it would mean I had my life back again. I was going to create my own luck and that is exactly what I teach.
- The past or future is better than right now. Achoo bullshit. Sorry. I call it like I see it. I miss the past too sometimes. And yes, there’s grief for people I lost, but I know for a fact they wouldn’t want me to live that way. I did take an entire year to grieve once and I don’t regret it. But then it was time to pick myself up and keep moving forward. Of course, shortly after that I was diagnosed with my first disease, but I did keep moving forward. So what can you do? Create Mindful Moments. If it is very hard to live in this moment right now, try to notice when and where your thoughts wander. Gently pull them back to the present moment. I am not saying yoga cures everything, but it does actually change you. I brought myself to my mat and practiced what I needed to do. Time and time again until it became less practice and more second nature. If my mind strayed to the pain, I would then focus on the way my hand was pressing into the mat. The way the next day, it was easier to hold a position for a few seconds longer than the day before. Until one day, I did something I worked on for an entire year and I will never forget the way my buddy smiled at me as I said hey, look at me!! I did it. There was this internal glow that I created all for myself and I had that power within me…so do you my friend.
I’m not saying that I have all the answers because I don’t. I just know that you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. Over the course of my 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training, I doubted myself more times than I can count. I would come home and soak in the tub and be in immense pain. I would look up at the heavens and ask why me. But the answer was always the same “why not me?” and so I learned to stop telling myself lies. I really could do this.
If you’d like more information on my journal therapy/yoga mindset/learning to live your truth Club, here it is >>> Head|Heart|Health Club <<< Click there.
Worry. Worry is one of the most useless habits that I have. Worry strips power. It changes nothing at all, and yet I physically feel drained. It doesn’t help me in any way, shape or form, and yet it is still there. Trying to get my attention.
This could go wrong, it screams in my head. You have busted your knee up for good girl, screams the voice. You made so much progress, but it’s all gone now. UGH. None of this is helping me at all. So yesterday, I told it where it could go. And it stayed there all day long. It really did.
I know that in practicing yoga and creating lasting mindful habits, I am happier. I know that wearing a knee brace and worrying that my MCL is not healing correctly is ruminating and I get that from certain family members. It hasn’t helped them either by the way. Let me explain. I have been to the doctor. I have had it checked out. I am following what he said to do. However; every other day a person named “dad” calls me to “worry” about my knee with me.
I have two daughters, so I get it. I really do. But worry doesn’t prevent anything from happening UNLESS you were actually using it to create some plan of attack on the battlefield or something. Maybe it was designed to help us at one point way in the past. However, my dad must be planning an attack on everything in his life. Whew, it’s exhausting. And he knows this, so I finally had to say if my knee comes up one more time, he had to give me money. HAHAHAHA. One thing that will keep him quiet…money.
How to take back your Power:
- Name the worry. Acknowledge it. Say hi to it, then put it in time-out. I did that yesterday. I created a how-to video for yoga on modifications with an MCL injury. I was very, very careful and know that I am getting a re-check today anyway.
- Staying present took its power away. I mindfully cleaned my living room. Thinking about each task. Didn’t go to past or future, but stayed in the present moment on purpose. I didn’t day dream…for once. I made sure I started my day by grounding with 3 deep breaths.
- Emotions are just that. They pass. Anger, shame, guilt, and worry. All pass. This will pass. This anxiety will pass. This feeling will pass. I know it as I have lived through other “worries” that never came to pass.
- Don’t encourage it. I didn’t want to be rude to dad, but I also didn’t want to talk about the same thing each and every day without it going anywhere. That’s like the old saying about worry being like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere. I don’t feel like being that person anymore. I am creating boundaries around this that it can’t get through.
- Be real. Okay, so it’s natural to worry a bit. As long as you don’t stay there. What can you do instead though? Everyone in my Head|Heart|Health Club knows that I am going to ask you if you are putting the work into what you DO want to happen and take it away from what you don’t want to happen. How you manage life is up to you. If you start to notice this pattern, remember that it is truly up to you to change. Redirect this energy to Empower.
Still need more help in this area? Want to practice taking back your power on a regular basis? Join us!
Coming to the close of a year is sometimes difficult for people. Looking back over the year might bring regrets, or worry. There could be lists of things you haven’t accomplished yet, or things you really wanted to do. But the truth is, none of that matters except for the present moment. I know. It’s shocking. All that worry for nothing.
We can’t go back and change anything. Not a damn thing. All we can do is move forward.
Each year, I get a shiny new journal and I am ready to start my new goals. I never say resolutions…nope. My goals are constantly changing. My past cannot change. It really is what it is no matter what.
So how can I move forward even if I know I have made some mistakes or didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to? Here are a few pointers for you on doing just that.
Let Go of Your Past Mistakes:
- Decide to let it go at this very minute. You have to consciously MAKE this decision in the present moment. Write it down on a piece of paper, say it to yourself in the mirror, but do it.
- It’s okay to express your regret as long as you know your responsibility in the matter. Take responsibility for what you put out there.
- Don’t be the victim. Please, please, please stop placing blame. I was talking to someone earlier who might be related to me and was in the same story yet again because blame was being placed everywhere else. **Sigh** Here are 3 Tips for Turning Pity into Self-care. For later…not now.
- Learn to focus on the present through mindfulness. Mindfulness is the here and now. When we are not here, we are trapped in a story of our past or future worry. The true way to move forward is with mindfulness. It is really powerful.
How Can You Be Mindful?
- Practice Mindful Breathing by putting your hand on your belly and breathing into your hand feeling it rise and fall. In your mind just mentally repeat I am breathing in, I am breathing out. Feel the air expand and contract.
- Become aware of your body. I notice when I am not present or grounded. My husband will tell me this entire story and I will mumble along. Ha. Then he never learns to look at my eyes and see if I am “here”. I make sure if it’s important I ask him to stop and look at me. You are most powerful when you are present, but we all zone out. Learn to be powerful in your conversations by making eye contact and making sure the other person is present as well.
- Do a brief body scan and notice where you are holding tension. Mine is always my jaw. Ugh. I clench and I know it. I try to relax it throughout the day and give myself a break from working to stand up and stretch.
- Forgive yourself and stay in the present. Don’t beat yourself up if you float into the clouds or are trying to practice that breathing exercise, and start to zone out. Just bring yourself back to the present moment over and over and over. It is a work in progress that gets more powerful and easier to do the longer you stick with it.
When you learn to be more conscious, you can learn to let go. When you let go, it opens up new doors to the future you are truly ready to create. ~Aimee
Sadly, I am not on a cruise ship right now sailing back from the Dominican Republic. But that’s okay, because I did get a mini-vacation in South Beach, Florida this week. Oh sure, my Pinterest board was full of what to pack for my cruise, and where to go in Puerta Plata, but the truth is, that was not what saddened me most. It was the first of its kind in cruising to help others…an impact trip, and I was going to be helping people in the DR with things like English as a second language in school, reforestation, concrete floors for homes, and organic cocoa and chocolate making. However, the Coast Guard knows best, and I believe in letting them do their job of properly inspecting a new cruise ship, so my girlfriend and I rolled with the news and headed over to Miami for a few days before coming home.
5 Ways to Enjoy Travel Changes
So how did we make the most of our money as well?
- We immediately looked at booking hotels online, not through the front desk. We got better prices for more nights online than through the front desk and then when we checked in, we told him what happened to us. He threw in some extra beverage coupons.
- We use Uber instead of cabs, and then got a free ride for referring the other friend to use it. So the next time we used it, it took $15 off. While we rode, we asked our drivers all about the area. Locals know the best places to eat and go.
- We took advantage of the happy hour that was included in the “resort” fee at our hotel. Know what you are paying for and what each hotel provides and when. Ours was “free” wine each night and “free” coffee each morning. It was a very nice hotel chain and it was quite lovely inside. The Kimpton hotels definitely have the feel of something different as you walk in.
- We walked everywhere and I used my cell phone map app and changed it to walking so I knew how far it was. We passed many cool sites this way and because it was South Beach, we were in the middle of beautiful art deco buildings, shops, and flowers I might have missed if we had taken the 25 cents local bus…which perhaps we took one night and got lost. Walking was better.
- What we should have done differently…was share meals. We were so hungry and loved everything on the menu that we each ordered a meal, then realized we should have split it. Definitely consider splitting meals. But I did eat the local food because Cuban food is muy bueno. Find out what is a local favorite and order it. You won’t be sorry.
Lastly, we met some amazing people on the trip because I do like to strike up conversations with folks and so does my friend, so we had a good time even though it wasn’t where we thought we were going…but that’s the thing about travel. It’s about the journey, not necessarily the destination.
What does letting go look like?
The inner process of letting go is different for everyone. Inside of us, we start to feel a change happen. Attachment to things that we once felt were important might start to shift. We start to realize that something we once held an attachment to is no longer serving us. We have to be open to the process of releasing attachment to the outcome of certain situations, thoughts, patterns or even habits that no longer serve us. This can also happen in relationships and jobs as well. The whole process is scary, I know.
Two years ago, through a series of decisions about what was best for my health, I made the decision to walk away from a job that caused me great stress as well as compromised my weak immune system. I was a classroom teacher and I loved it. I loved the children, my class, the books, the decorations, and the feel of lesson planning. However, there were many other parts to the job that caused me great stress. I was always sick. I always used up all of my leave every single year which meant I went into leave without pay. It was time for me to reflect on what my future was going to look like if I continued getting worse off. I knew the answer already. There would be no future for me if my health continued to decline. I was giving everything I had to the job, and very little remained for me to give to anyone else, including my family.
Signs that letting go is needed:
- Impatient and/or frustrated with something that used to bring you joy. We find excuses instead of happiness with the “thing” we need to let go of.
- Sadness and/or anger begins to replace all the good feelings and thoughts you once had about this habit, relationship, or job. The sadness of parting might lead the way to anger…especially if you feel that this is an unhealthy attachment.
- Future you has started forming in your head. You start to imagine what the future looks like without this habit, relationship, job, etc. in your life. You realize you are not only doing well in the future, but that you can actually be happy without this attachment.
- Contentment and relief begin to come over you one day when you realize you don’t have to hold on to your view, size of your house, or need to be right all the time. You can actually let it go. Who cares what anyone thinks? You are doing what is best for you.
While the process is different for everyone, ultimately, you know when it’s time to move on. It is a continuous process and we must constantly refocus our thoughts on the present moment lest they go back to old ways, paths and habits that we are working to leave behind. Forgive yourself when this happens, but be determined to keep moving forward.
I have been on vacation this week, and you would think I could be relaxed. I have been, I have, but things traveled with me as well. I can’t change those things, they are there, and they will always be there. Whether it’s a new set of “things” or an old set of “things”. Your baggage travels with you. It is difficult for most people to get over the past. Sometimes, it is best to cut off ties with things that are bothering you. It doesn’t matter what it is, seriously, it is now over so move past it. Take those giant scissors and snip. Let it go like a balloon. Release the tension and let the worries go.
“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.” ~Denis Waitley
Pssst. There are some really cool bloggers following me. Thanks! My husband mentioned he never gets notified by e-mail that I have published anything. Hmmm. Strange, check your settings. Well, if you found this page and like what I have to say, thank you for reading. Here is the next installment in my “No”vember series:
The path not taken
My daughter woke me up this morning so we could go walk on the trail. We let other people pass us by that were in “jogging” mode because I wasn’t in a hurry today. We collected leaves, made the dog a skirt of them actually, and looked around for spies. They were everywhere, but I only caught one pretending not to notice us. We had no worries today, and it should be that way everyday, but you must train your mind to look beyond what is wrong in your life and find what is right. On our walk, we found an abandoned boat. Maybe they just weren’t getting anywhere and decided to take the scenic route.
Leave the sinking ship behind
“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.” ~Deepak Chopra