Gratitude Check

On a quick break and that calls for some gratitude! Feel free to list what you’re grateful for today in the comments 🙂 Let’s make the rest of the day a good one!

1- I am grateful for my health. It is a blessing to be able to walk, eat, talk, use the restroom, and complete daily tasks without the need of assistance.

2- I am grateful for my boyfriend/our relationship. I’m blessed to have a life partner who is hard-working, respectful, caring, and overall an incredible person to be around. I feel so safe and loved, and I’m happy we have great communication skills and have continued to grow together throughout the years.

3- I am grateful for our home. I am blessed to have a roof over my head and have everything I could ever need within the walls. Clean running water, heat/AC, appliances, a bed… truly we are so lucky to have all of these things and they’re easy to take for granted.

4- I am grateful for my job. I am lucky to have a job that allows me to pay my bills and live life as I’d like. I am happy to have insurance and PTO, and I am also so grateful to not work weekends!

5- I am grateful for books and podcasts! It’s so amazing to me when people can take their ideas and thoughts and organize them in such a way that leaves an incredible impact. I love when I read something or hear something that just blows my mind and changes my whole perspective on things. Also the fact that people write/podcast to help others is truly beautiful!

I have to get back to work, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to check in and remind myself how great life is! Hope everyone has a great day!

First Monday of 2022: Complete

Happy 2023! Yesterday was 1/1/23 and I was blessed enough to be able to spend time with some family. My aunt and her friend made it back from from Thailand yesterday and we got to see her before she drove back to Iowa which was nice. Soon enough we will all be going out there for our Family Christmas and I’m looking forward to seeing my Grandma and the rest of the family.

Other than that I pretty much laid low yesterday. My boyfriend and I re-did our budget for the new year and I took some time to journal a bit. My coworker started listening to Gabby Bernstein and joined her 21 day manifesting challenge, and she shared the PDF with me with the journal prompts for each day. Yesterday I created my “desire statement,” and I am excited to see what todays prompt brings.

As far as manifesting goes, I know it’s all the work you put in. You cannot wish for things to happen and they happen, you cannot control things beyond your control, but although it isn’t magic, to some it can feel like it is. I definitely love feeling the “magic” of the world… and ironically it happened as I was writing this.

If I’m going to be completely honest, I started writing this blog post on the toilet this morning (LOL, sorry for the TMI). Once I was done I washed my hands and I went into my bedroom. I started doing yoga and as I was breathing, all I could smell was the cat litter. So I decided to get up and clean that, and then I took out the garbage, and when I came back to my phone I decided to check my email. It was 9:14am and my email was from Gabby Bernstein and it said “Dear Gabby Live 10:15am EST.” I’m like OH SHIT ONE MINUTE!!! and quickly grabbed my laptop and jumped on zoom.

I have only ever been in one other “Dear Gabby Podcast” Zoom, and I am so grateful that I was able to do it again. Ironically enough it’s something that I have been reflecting about over the past couple of days as I was looking at the positive parts of 2022. Today I was just in there to listen, I didn’t raise my hand to try to get picked to ask anything, I just decided to be grateful for the experience and listen to the others call in and listen to Gabby’s insight.

When she is recording these, it is for future episodes and it’s fun to see the behind-the-scenes of her podcast. She will re-record certain parts and do different exits for a show and it’s fun to see the time and effort that goes into making a project seem so perfect and effortless. It also reminded me that perfection isn’t real, and it’s completely normal to “mess up.”

I feel like I already knew that, but I needed just a little push or refresher because I feel like I still strive for perfection, which is stopping me from starting anything new. I also feel like I have so many different ideas and things I want to try, but I can’t decide on which to focus on. After listening to one of the shows that was being recorded, it was brought up to focus on the one bringing the most joy.

When I started the manifesting challenge, my goal is to manifest a healthier lifestyle for myself. I have been on a healing/self-love journey for years now, but I know that deep down I need to have my mind and body in alignment, and I always feel better when I take care of myself. From what I’ve been listening to on the self-help podcast, it actually helps you rebuild your sense of trust with yourself when you do what you say you’re going to do. I have always felt a distrust towards myself, and that’s likely because I don’t always follow through with my self-care, but the thought of truly being able to be disciplined for the sake of self-love brings me so much joy.

I used to want to be fit and/or skinny so that I didn’t feel insecure out in crowds or on social media, but I didn’t actually care about my health at that time. As I am growing older, I am realizing that good health, both physical and mental, is the true wealth. If I know that and I truly do care about myself, I deserve to give myself that healthier life. I deserve to move my body and fuel it with the foods it needs. I also deserve to not restrict myself or shame myself for eating the cookies that I am baking right now.

I am excited to continue on this journey of self love and discovery, and I am happy to be taking it one day at a time. I want to continue working on being present and mindful, and learning to love myself unconditionally.

NYE 2022

Well, here we are! The last day of 2022. I swear as I continue to grow older, these years just fly by faster and faster. I am feeling very grateful as I look back on this year, as well as when I look ahead to 2023. I know every year is when we love to say “this is going to be my year!” Just know, every year from here on out is my year: I am doing what I love, and I am not apologizing for it. I am saying no when I don’t want to put my time or energy into something that I feel is not best for me. I am speaking up for myself by expressing when I feel bothered or upset, rather than building up resentment that only ends up hurting me. I am putting my phone on DND whenever I feel like it, I am cancelling plans when needed, and I am speaking my truth through writing, both here and on The Unsealed. I do want to take time to look back through the highlights of 2022, as I feel like this was such a great year!

The year started out with reading a new book, which launched me on a reading journey again and allowed me to read way more than I have any other year. In 2022 I read seven books. Now I could sit here and start talking down on myself by saying things like “well some of them were only 100 pages,” or “I could have read more,” etc…. but that does not help me in any way. I am proud that I read seven books, no matter how big or small, because I read those for me, and those benefitted me in so many ways. They have definitely improved my mental health by giving me so many new perspectives and ideas, and if I am being really honest, I actually feel like reading Russ’ book “It’s All In Your Head” allowed me to see him live! Back in April my friend had slept over, and the next morning when she was still sleeping, I had finished reading his book. That same day he was on Instagram telling people to DM him with their name and which city they wanted to see him perform live. I saw he had posted that on his story three minutes before I saw it, and I immediately messaged him. Three minutes later he responded with “Got you added with a +1!!!” and I nearly died of excitement! I absolutely love Russ for so many reasons, but the main one is that he is determined and he very much believes in himself, and I feel there was a reason I was able to connect with him this year-both through his book and through his music. I am so very thankful that I was able to see him live, and I got to bring my boyfriend which was nice because we haven’t been to a concert together in years. I am still in awe at how all of that happened, and I truly loved the timing of finishing his book and then being able to connect with him that same day- the universe works in mysterious ways.

This year I decided to join an incredible writing community called The Unsealed, and I am very grateful that I did. The Unsealed is a place for people to write open letters and be able to speak and release their truth into the world, with the hopes of inspiring others to do the same. I was able to really step out of my comfort zone by joining in on zoom calls, being able to ask and answer questions, and truly just open up publicly about my mental health and traumas. I never feel judged or criticized in the community, and we all choose to inspire and lift up others who are struggling. Because of my willingness to push through my anxiety, this allowed me to be on a billboard this year, advertising for this community I love! The founder of The Unsealed, Lauren, posted on Instagram that they were looking for a member in the Chicago area to advertise for their community, and as soon as I saw it I jumped on it! Although I am almost two hours outside of the city, I still wanted to be a part of it and I knew we would be able to find people with stories to tell, and I let her know that I may not be able to go see the billboard, but I’d be so happy to be on it. Lauren was super excited to help and she even got me a billboard in my town as well so that I was able to go and see it! I felt so blown away by the efforts of someone who has never even met me, and I truly felt seen and heard. I am so proud of myself for stepping into my passion of writing, and taking a leap out of my comfort zone, because this will only continue in 2023.

This year I have truly been able to finally see myself and listen to myself. I decided to set boundaries and say “no,” which has honestly helped me in so many ways, as now I no longer feel angry or resentful for doing things that I never wanted to do. I read a quote this year that I have since kept on a widget on my iPhone so I can see it every day, and it reads: “You will inspire some and trigger others. Both are medicine.” As someone who has struggled with people-pleasing my whole life, I have always avoided stating how I feel about something out of fear of hurting others/triggering others, as I know how I feel when I am triggered. What I have since realized is that this only hurts myself. If I don’t speak up for myself, who will? And although in the moment I don’t like to feel triggered, when I am calm and can reflect on the trigger, that is typically where I find the most insight and growth. For example, I became angry at a friend this year when she commented something on my post, because I was not expecting it and to me it came across like I had upset her with my post. Although I knew my intention behind the post and that it had nothing to do with anyone, I still felt my heart start pounding and my hands shaking, because now I was triggered. On the surface it can seem like I was triggered because I felt bad for upsetting her, or that I came across as a mean person, but after long reflecting that was not what it was at all. I felt triggered because, to me, someone who is a very close friend of mine misunderstood me, and at the time, it felt purposeful. Now I know feelings aren’t facts, and the only way to resolve an issue is to communicate. We luckily ended up talking on the phone and were able to smooth things over and get out any misunderstandings, but this was a lesson for me to keep in mind: not everyone will understand you, not even the people closest to you, but what matters is that you understand you and your intentions; no one can take that away from you. I knew my intention behind the post, and going forward I will pause and breathe before responding to others, especially when I am feeling triggered. It also taught me that communication truly is key in any healthy relationship, and I want to focus on that more as we go into the new year.

So many beautiful things happened this year, and I am so blessed to able to sit here and write this today. From the breakfast dates with my love, to concerts and vacations with friends, I feel so very loved. From the Dear Gabby zoom call, to messages/comments with my favorite people on Instagram (Mel Robbins, Gabby Bernstein, The Holistic Psychologist, Russ), I feel connected and abundant. From planning and setting goals to mindful moments alone, I can definitely say this has been a beautiful year of growth and opportunities. I am so excited to see what is in store for 2023, and I am choosing to go into the new year mindfully, confidently, and with purpose.

Tuesday Groove

Although I’m back to work after a long weekend, tired as hell with my back pain coming back slightly, I still am having a good day! I’m currently on lunch at work and although I didn’t do all that I wanted to this morning, I still did two of the things on my am list: practiced gratitude and set an intention for the day.

Todays intention was simply to be mindful and grateful. I want to be mindful of my words/my responses, and I want to be grateful for everything. When I set the intention I also told myself that if I find points of frustration or irritability, I should take a moment to reflect on something good that is happening in the situation.

Yesterday I spent a little time and money on myself and went shopping after my chiropractor appointment. I’m excited to say that I purchased the “How To Meet Yourself” workbook by Dr. Nicole Lepera (aka The Holistic Psychologist) and I am ready to start off the new year on the right foot! Honestly I already started it, but I am already starting my 2023 goals now. I also ordered another self-help workbook by Vex King & Kaushal and am so excited for that one to arrive as well!

I am feeling really good about this upcoming year, and really just about life right now. I am happy in my relationship and in our home, I’m happy with my friendships, I am happy with the progress I’ve made in relation to my health/mental health- overall I am just feeling happy! Gratitude really does change the attitude, and I love adding that practice into my mornings.

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions anymore as most people don’t stick with them, but I do know I want to just continue to focus on my health/mental health and do more of the things I love. Concerts, hiking, singing, writing, dancing… all of the things that bring my inner child joy will be done regularly in 2023! I’m finding my inner confidence and becoming the best version of myself, because I deserve that.

Wishing everyone a peaceful remainder of 2022 and a good transition into 2023. Sending so much love and light to all struggling with loss, financial troubles, health troubles, heartbreak, stress, family issues- as hard as it may be to remember during these tough times, it is always dark before the dawn.

2022 Progress Report: Proud and Grateful

As the year slowly comes to a close, I am looking forward to continue my healing into 2023. I have learned so much about myself over this year, and I am honestly very proud of my growth. I think back to when my mother had her stroke in February, and how instead of sitting and worrying about if or when she would have another one, I instead turned to gratitude. I was grateful that she is still here, and she can function normally and on her own; she is truly blessed, and I feel the same way. If this were to have happened a few years ago, I would have spiraled for probably months, just riddled with anxiety. I am proud of the fact that I find it easier to turn to gratitude during tough times.

I also am grateful that I am getting better at communicating when I am bothered by something. A few months ago, I was able to have a conversation with a close friend about something that I felt like could have been confrontational or maybe even hurtful. Although I was anxious about it, I was able to clearly communicate my intentions and thoughts, and because she is a good friend, I felt heard and understood during that conversation! I am proud that instead of just being quiet about it and building up resentment, I decided to speak up for myself and discuss my feelings. As someone who has avoided conflict and kept quiet her whole life, that one single act felt like it broke a huge barrier for me, and for that I am proud of myself.

Throughout the year I’ve struggled with judgment; truly it’s been me judging myself for judging others, and then realizing that those judgments I had towards others were actually the judgments I had towards myself. I had read about that in a book, and I’ve also heard it on podcasts before, but it really clicked this year. Although there have been a lot of hard truths to swallow, it has also been calming in a way to release that urge to control or “rescue” others. In reality, I only have the power to control or “rescue” myself, and that is what I will continue to focus on.

I am so grateful to have access to therapy and to have found such amazing podcasts that I enjoy listening to. I also am happy that I started reading more books again this year, and I plan to read even more in 2023. I plan to dedicate time to myself each day, even if only for one minute on some days, because I deserve that love and attention from myself. I plan to be authentic and honest and speak up for myself whenever needed, and I plan to be unapologetic about setting healthy boundaries. I am planning to be less busy and live calmer and slower; after living with a dysregulated nervous system for most of my life, I want to do my absolute best to try to regulate it.

2023: More connecting with nature, less connecting with technology. More reading books, less scrolling through Instagram. More time doing what I love, less wasting time doing things that don’t align with me. More pausing and slowing down, less rushing and stressing. More focusing on my values and goals, less judging and doubting myself. I am doing only what I feel is best for me, and I won’t feel guilty about it.

Bed

I’m writing this from bed as yesterday I woke up with some pretty severe lower back pain. We did have a get-together Friday evening and I know I was running around like a crazy person prior to guests arriving, and I am wondering if I lifted something wrong. I feel like it may be a combination of that as well as some PMS, but it’s pretty bad.

I tried to stretch a lot yesterday and I took some ibuprofen and acetaminophen on and off, but nothing seems to help. If I wake up to turn in my sleep, it is always an uncomfortable transition. Luckily I am supposed to see my chiropractor tomorrow, but depending on how today goes, I may need to see someone sooner.

I am honestly pretty opposed to going to the urgent care / hospital for pain because I always just assume they will give me an pain killer and not identify any real issue. I feel like every time I have to go to the ER for something, no one ever has any answers and just prescribes some pill to take, and I hate it! I am trying to find the root cause, not just put a bandaid on it and hope it sticks!

As the patient, I have the right to advocate for myself as well, so I know I would be asking questions and asking about certain tests, and I’d straight up tell them I want to avoid any pain medication. The only time I ever took a pain killer was after my wisdom teeth surgery and it made me feel super weird and then I just passed out for hours. I ended up switching to ibuprofen after that one pill, and I honestly don’t even take ibuprofen regularly, only when I am in a decent amount of pain.

I am just planning to take it easy today. I’m hoping it just gets better throughout the day and I don’t feel the need to seek medical attention. Sending love and light to all those struggling with any health (mental, physical, emotional, etc.) concerns! We will get through it!

A Love Letter to Myself:

It’s the way you giggle with glee when passing by farm animals when driving down country roads, waving and screaming “hello!” to them out of the passenger window. It’s the way you admire the sky at all times of the day and night, and how different your moods are when grey clouds block the view. It’s the way you say “good morning” to each of the cats and how you ask them how their days were when you come home. It’s the effort you put into yourself; going to therapy, reading self-help books, listening to mindfulness podcasts… you’re truly doing the work and you are finally doing it for you. It’s the way you are so comfortable being your weird, goofy self when around those who love you, and even around those who don’t even know you. It’s the way you want everyone to feel comfortable and loved for who they are, and not feel ashamed of their perceived “flaws.” It’s the way you love a day inside; whether you’re making crafts, writing, or watching some dramatic real estate show, you always find joy in the environment you’re in. No matter what you go through, you have this strength and resilience that always comes to the surface, and although at times you don’t give yourself the credit you deserve, just know that you deserve all of the wonders the world has to offer. Shine brightly and unapologetically; don’t let anyone dim the light that the world so desperately needs.

I love you. I love me.

Anxiety

I woke up with some anxiety today, and I know where it is stemming from, but I am working hard to ask myself the questions to get myself grounded and calm. It’s all because my coworker called me after work last night and let me know she got two new jobs and she isn’t coming back tomorrow (aka today), and she asked if she could drop off her works keys to me to bring in today, so I am! I didn’t tell the other boss or anything yet because I will this morning and I figured I was off yesterday and would deal with it at work.

Although I haven’t done anything wrong and I cannot get in trouble for bringing in her keys, my anxiety keeps trying to trick me into saying I did something bad. But I know that I am not doing anything wrong by bringing her keys back to work, if anything that’s a great thing for me to do! I can’t get in trouble for not telling them yesterday, because I wasn’t working, nor would it have made a difference for today.

Honestly, even just taking the time to write this short post has calmed my physical anxiety down- it’s just writing it out to remind myself that I am okay and will be okay. No one can hurt me or fire me for doing this, and even if they did, I would figure it out. I can trust myself to navigate what life brings me, because I always make it through.

Here comes December

As November comes to a close, I am looking forward to this winter. That sounds weird considering I prefer warm weather and I avoid driving in the snow as much as I can, but instead of dreading the cold days, I am dedicating this winter to myself and my healing.

I plan to start saying “no” to just about everything, other than the plans I already have, because I want to focus on my inner work. My tasks will include journaling, reading, listening to podcasts, and working out. Maybe I’ll learn a few recipes too! I always say I want to focus on myself and my health, yet I am constantly distracting myself from that with scrolling on instagram and talking to friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and am so grateful to have so many good ones in my life, but sometimes I feel like I also distract myself from my own feelings and I get lost in other people’s lives. I have gotten a lot better at it over the past couple of years, but I still have some work to do. If I am living life for me, then I need to know who I am.

I know that I am a caring person, and I want everyone to be happy and feeling their best, but I don’t always take that time for myself. I don’t take the time to celebrate myself, but I get so overjoyed when my friends are excited about their achievements… and I deserve that same love and appreciate from myself! How am I going to sit and be like “no one notices or appreciates my growth” when I don’t do it for myself???

To be fair, I don’t need anyone else’s opinion on my progress (although I will say when my boyfriend notices my growth and applauds me, it does feel good), but my own opinion does matter! I am so grateful for the progress I have made, and I’m also thankful to have so many resources to use while I continue on my journey. I’m leaving all of my self-doubt and people-pleasing in November, and I will trust the process that unfolds. Here’s to a great winter ahead!