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.

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.

Intentions

Today marks a new moon which is a perfect time to get re-aligned and re-focused on intentions. I will be writing mine for the month here in this post. Feel free to comment your own or even make your own post about it! I find it important to check in with myself and make sure I am focusing on what I really want in life and making progress towards my goals; with that being said, here are my intentions:

-I want to be intentional with my words. Less over-sharing, and more coming from an authentic, honest place. I will no longer silence myself when something is bothering me, rather I will pause to reflect, and then do my best to communicate my feelings and set boundaries.

-I want make healthier choices when it comes to food. I know I don’t do well with strict diets, nor is that something I want to do, but in general I want to pause before I make decisions about food and make sure I am checking in with myself on if that is something I truly want to eat. Granted, I know my taste buds have strong arguments, but I also know gut health is linked to mental health, and I am trying to feel healthy overall.

-I want to write more on The Unsealed and continue building my writing Instagram. I know I have been writing more, but I want to get more consistent and stay focused on the goal: future author. I know this will be a rough project, going through pulling out old memories and old traumas, but I believe the whole writing process will be not only healing for me, but I hope it helps the reader feel less alone and more empowered.

Eleven Years

Today marks 11 years since my boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend, and it’s honestly insane to me to think about how we were only 16 when we started our relationship. We have truly grown together and grown stronger through all of the years, and I am so excited to see what our long future ahead holds! As he sleeps next to me, I want to take time to write a few key things I am grateful for in this relationship, that I feel could help benefit others! I could probably write a whole book about it, and maybe I will one day, but for now I hope you enjoy.

1. Patience. My boyfriend is probably the most patient man in the world; and if not, I can say he is definitely the most patient person in my world. I am so blessed to have someone who has taken the time to get to truly know me, and hasn’t been pushy or aggressive in any way. He was so helpful when I was going through starting therapy and different medications to help with my anxiety, and he was always understanding and helpful. Over the years, I have been able to improve my patience and I feel like he is a big part of that. I used to freak out over small things, like if I asked him to put the dishes away and if he didn’t do it within like 30 seconds I’d be pissed. Over time, with his help and my therapist, I realized a lot of this anger stemmed from my control issues and even though I’d feel like things needed to be done ASAP, the truth was I’d survive if it was done a few hours from then, or even the next day. I definitely annoyed the shit out of him for the longest, and was even annoyed by him for it too, but with time and patience we have been able to get through everything. I know life will continue to test our patience, but I just know we will be able to get through anything. When the time comes, I know he will be the best father to our future children, and because of him I also feel I’ll be a more patient mother.

2. Communication. In the beginning of our relationship, communicating wasn’t easy. We were both sixteen, this was my first high school relationship, and I was a very insecure, anxious girl. We definitely had our struggles- I would avoid any conflict/confrontation so if anything ever upset me I’d just hold it in to avoid a fight, but once we had any disagreement then everything I was ever mad about would come out and I would explode! He was always so confused and would ask why I didn’t tell him at the time I was bothered, and that came back to me avoiding fights (clearly not working LOL). We came up with a plan to regularly check in with each other when we were both in a good headspace and talk about anything that bothered us. This practice helped us so much and although we have grown together and have developed much better communication skills, it’s still nice to do every once in a while!

3. Honesty. This is key in any relationship, but I find that most people do struggle with this even in adult life. From the beginning of our relationship, we developed a good sense of trust. Of course as teenagers we are young and don’t know much about the world or relationships yet, and there were definitely things we had to work through, but overall the honesty and transparency is something I am so grateful for today. Even in high school, we were never the couples that had each other’s facebook logins or went through each others phones, and we still don’t do that as of today. I remember hearing how common it was so have couples share passwords and even then we thought it was so stupid; if you don’t have that trust, then don’t be together. People deserve their own lives and privacy, and just because someone did you wrong in the past, doesn’t mean this whole different human would do the same. That’s where communication comes back in, but I truly believe honesty and trust are a key foundation for any relationship.

4. Respect. Now this one is also a huge one to me, probably because I grew up observing relationships that didn’t have this. My boyfriend and I both have respect for each other, and in our relationship it comes out in our love and adoration for each other. Throughout the past 11 years, we have never called each other any names, we do not yell or swear at each other in fights, and we honestly just treat each other how we want to be treated. I have so much respect for him, I could never really talk down on him or talk to him that way, and I know he’d never treat me that way either. We both want a loving, healthy relationship so that’s what we work for!

There are so many more qualities of our relationship that I am grateful for, but he is awake and we are heading home, so I’m going to end this here. I wish you all well and a Sunday full of love!

An Off Day

Today just felt off, and honestly yesterday did too. I’m trying to be positive and remind myself that I’m allowed to rest and take breaks, but it’s not always easy. Today it’s 100 degrees outside and I started not feeling the greatest towards the end of my shift, so I ended up skipping the gym. I’ve been sleeping a lot more these past couple of days and I need to listen to my body.

I can’t help but feel guilty about it, and I’m trying to figure out why. Why am I so hard on myself? Is it because going to the gym is within my control and I’m not doing it? I already told myself that I’m going to the gym to feel better and be healthier, getting obsessive over it is not healthy! Honestly though, I’m stressed about life shit too.

We recently got a letter from our lovely homeowners association and they’re requiring some expensive work to be done. It’s annoying and honestly would never recommend anyone to live where there is an HOA. At a time where inflation is ridiculous, we’d rather not spend thousands of dollars on stuff that isn’t really that important (to us, but to them it’s not cosmetically pleasing), but we unfortunately don’t have that choice right now. I think the anxiety is coming from the fact that we don’t know what the pricing looks like yet, and I always have anxiety around money.

I am trying to remind myself that money comes and goes, and luckily my boyfriend and I are both working and are able to pay all of our bills. We truly are blessed and I am grateful for this every single day; I just need to keep reminding myself to turn to gratitude.

It’s not a bad life, it’s just a rough couple of days. I always come out of it and I will do the same this time. Day by day, I will learn to give myself grace, and I will learn how to be patient with myself. This is all part of the journey.

Weekend Note

I didn’t feel like writing yesterday, but I did write a note in my phone trying to dissect myself this weekend, so I’ll post that below! I hope everyone has a good week ahead!

______________________________________________

why do i doubt myself?

is it hearing it from the man I was supposed to grow up admiring? is it because I became a people pleaser at the expense of my own authenticity so I don’t trust myself enough? I don’t think I’m strong enough because I’ve felt weak for so long? I feel like my brain is broken, so how could I make the right decisions? I was so sheltered & felt so stupid, but the one thing I knew was money. I knew it & I blew it- but that’s not entirely true. I re-prioritized & got used to living a certain lifestyle. I drive a nice car, I get my nails done sometimes (less often than before), and I feed my iced coffee addition. These are things that make me happy, and having a reliable car is also a must. But I feel like because I don’t save as much anymore, and I “spend money on stupid stuff,” I’m a failure, so therefore a reason to doubt myself. I often feel guilty and get mad at myself after I go spend money on nails or food, I’m like why am I wasting money? How could I keep doing this? But I feel like I’m in a test with money, and I am working to win this battle. I will win.

Thursday Thoughts

With the new moon yesterday, I’ve been thinking about new intentions, and I really want to work on non-judgment. I am a very observant person, but this also makes me very judgmental. I find myself judging others for their “bad choices,” when in reality I don’t know what is a “good” or “bad” choice for that person; it just is what it is.

It’s basically like how I am rewiring my angry/negative thoughts to being thankful, I am going to actively start doing that when I find myself being judgmental. I have read about practicing non-judgment before, and I truly wish to master this skill. I know it will take time, and I’ll never be “perfect,” but I feel like a “bad” person when I’m judging others and I don’t like that feeling.

When I find myself being judgmental, I will instead start thinking about why I am grateful for that person or think of a positive way to look at them. I will also remind myself that “it is what it is, and should be,” because everything truly does happen for a reason. Does anyone else have any tips/tricks for this?

Thank You.

I’ve been on a path of self-growth and gratitude, and it’s truly amazing how much saying “thank you” can do. I’m was reading a book called “The Magic,” which is a daily practice book- meaning you only read a few pages each morning and you follow the steps in the book. I did fall off of reading this when my mother had her stroke, and honestly I haven’t picked the book back up yet, but I have made sure to still do one of the practices daily.

Every morning I was writing down ten things that I’m grateful for, why I am grateful for them, and then said “thank you” three times after each one. After a while I got tired of writing them in my phone notes, so now I actually say them aloud in the car on my way to work. I’ve been noticing some “magic” (and/or coincidences) happening already!

For example, every day a lot of the ten things tend to be the same, but I switched it up a bit and said I was thankful for coffee. I am grateful for coffee, because it tastes good and gives me energy and just makes my day that much better; I spoke this into the universe, said “thank you, thank you, thank you,” and kept driving to work. When I got close to my destination, the line at the nearest Dunkin’ was short, and I actually had time to stop before work! So I went into work happy with my iced coffee, and then one of my coworkers shows up with another iced coffee for me! I was shocked, but boy did it make the day even better LOL!

Today I told the universe I was thankful for money, and then my boss surprised me with a $100 Visa gift card for not getting any “points” (basically penalties) against me for the past year of work. What’s even crazier is that I actually had left this job for a few months and they brought me back in when my other job didn’t work out like I thought it would, and she still rewarded me with the gift card! Again, I know these can be coincidental, but at the same time, believing in a little magic can be fun!

Using free time to remember things that we are grateful for can truly make a world of a difference in our minds. It’s all perspective and mindset; as my mom always told me “mind over matter.” I used to get so mad at that phrase when I was a kid, but wow do I appreciate it now. It’s crazy to think that there truly is a bit of magic everywhere, we are just too distracted and busy to see it. Being aware and present in the moment can really open up a whole new world within you!

I hope everyone has a magical weekend! Abs thank you for being here. ♡

Growth.

I feel so very blessed every day to have such an amazing man in my life. I am always blown away when I think about the fact that we met at the age of 16, started our relationship together, and here we are 10+ years later still happily in love. I won’t sit and pretend that we didn’t have fights or hardships, I mean when you’re a teenager isn’t everything just a bit dramatic? Maybe not necessarily, but our brains were still very much under-developed and my emotional control was, well, much less controlled. I’m so thankful that he has stayed with me through my mental struggles and has never once made me feel like a burden. He is so patient with me and always makes me feel so loved, and for that I am forever grateful.

I remember moving out together at age 19- I had finally been able to escape my chaotic childhood home and be out on my own under my own rules. Little did I know that this would only exacerbate my anxiety at the time, as well as my depression. I’d sit and cry about how I had everything that I wanted, yet I felt like my brain was on fire, yet completely numb all at the same time. I was so upset that I didn’t feel “happy.” I’d tell my boyfriend how much I loved him and I loved our life together, all of which was 100% true, but that I still felt sad and almost empty or un-fulfilled. I just could not understand why I was feeling so empty and why I couldn’t just be happy there in those important moments of my life.

Now after many years of therapy (and ongoing therapy), I know that it is because my nervous system was used to being in a certain state, and now that I no longer was in an environment to keep it stimulated in that way, my brain was finding other ways to it. I could not sit still and relax. Period. I always felt the need to be doing something, and if I knew something needed to be done, it needed to be done right away. I always felt like I was racing the clock; I couldn’t even allow myself to just lay in bed or relax on the weekends. I always felt stressed and rushed, and I also felt like I was just doing this to myself which only made me angrier and hate myself and my brain more. If I did allow myself to physically relax, then my brain would just start going; how can you sit here when you could be doing x, y, and/or z? Why aren’t you doing this, that or the other thing? But why? I finally was in a space where I could control what would happen around me…but that control became obsessive.

Honestly, I am still learning how to deal with my anxiety and control issues; I see my therapist every 3-4 weeks and am actively trying to re-wire my brain with better habits. I have come a long way from where I was when I was 19, and again I feel so blessed that my boyfriend has been with me through all of this. When my anxiety was at its worst, I was so irritable and angry all the time and I took it out on him, because he was the only one around. I didn’t want to be mean to him, and then I’d feel guilty and sad about it because I was hurting the person who was sitting here loving and caring about me. I knew I didn’t want to do that anymore, and that was when I reached out and started my long journey of seeing therapists and trying different medications that got me where I am today: unmedicated and still actively going to therapy. I no longer feel constantly irritable or like I am running out of time, and I take time to sit and appreciate everything around me.

I am so proud of where I am now compared to seven years ago. I am so proud of where I am from when I started this blog compared to now. My goal with this blog was to learn how to love myself, and I truly feel that I have learned how to do that. There is still so much work to do, but it doesn’t feel so overwhelming anymore… it actually is kind of fun! I am going to continue on this journey so that I can develop more healthy habits, learn more about myself and my brain, and hopefully make myself better so that I am less likely to pass on my traumas to my future children. To anyone reading who feels super anxious or overwhelmed with life, just know that it can be a long journey, but it is a worthwhile journey. You deserve to take care of yourself and understand yourself.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!