Monday Morning

Starting the week off with some gratitude. First I want to say that my intention for this week is to focus on getting my body more aligned with my mind, as I haven’t been eating the best over the weekend or the last few weeks honestly. I’m starting this morning with some yoga at home and lemon/cucumber water, and I am happy to celebrate even that “small” win!

In which case, I’ll start by saying I’m very grateful for that win this morning and the fact that I am up early enough to be able to stretch and even write up this short blog post! I promised myself I’d get up early, and I did!

I am very grateful for this blog. I started this years ago and I have been better and better about writing it in weekly and I am happy that I started this when I did, and I am excited to keep it going!

I am thankful for my boyfriend, as he truly makes my days better. He always makes me laugh and makes me feel loved, and I admire the mutual respect and support we have for one another.

I am grateful for my job. I am lucky to have a job that I don’t hate, that has PTO and insurance, and allows me to pay my bills and still be able to enjoy life. I also don’t work weekends which is something I’ve always wanted!

I am grateful for my three beautiful cats! I always grew up with cats and I’m so happy that we have our babies at home who love us and bring us joy. Kitty purrs and cuddles always put me in a better mood.

There are so many other things I am grateful for, such a podcasts, books, great friends, sunrises/sunsets, days with minimal traffic, iced coffee, the fact that my car has heat so I. can be warm on my way to work when it’s only 14 degrees out. I could go on and on, but instead I’m going to get back to some stretching before I go to work.

Have an incredible Monday and great week ahead!

Wednesday Affirmations

Lunch break means it’s time for some affirmations! Some I have in my phone as reminders, some just will come as I write. Feel free to write some in the comments or let me know if any resonate with you!

All is well.

Everything always works out in my favor.

I am loved, I am safe, I am at peace.

I release all fear and allow the universe to work her magic.

I trust that all will work out how it should.

I am capable of more than I realize, as I am divinely supported.

I am a confident in myself and my abilities.

I trust myself to navigate what life brings me.

I am strong and resilient; I have survived all of my worst days.

I allow the light within me to shine through.

Looking Forward

As I write this, I am winding down with my boyfriend after a nice weekend spent with my family. We celebrated our Christmas, and I love that we always do this in January after the holidays are over, because it just feels a lot less stressful. We always do a white elephant exchange and this time we had a fun twist on the game which made it more interesting; my boyfriend and I somehow ended up taking several gifts home, so if there was supposed to be a winner, I feel like it was definitely us LOL.

It was nice to spend time with family, and I know we will all spend more time with each other this year! I definitely want to go visit again when it gets warmer out, and every year we also have our annual girls’ trip, but I want to make an effort to see family more this year, as well as my friends. I also want to make sure I am getting outside as much as I can, as I always feel happy after a walk through nature or a few hours at the beach.

I am happy to say that I already have a mini girls’ trip planned in March. I am going to meet up with a couple friends in Minneapolis so we can shop and go to a concert! I have never been to the Mall of America, and I also have never been to a concert in MN so I am looking forward to that! Then sometime late summer another friend and I are planning a trip to celebrate our birthdays! I love traveling, I love new experiences, and I am making sure to prioritize that where I can, while still being mindful with money and our future goals.

Life is all about balance, and I definitely feel like I have spent most of my life falling off of the balance beam. But as I am learning about myself and how my brain functions, I am able to understand myself more and I am slowly unlearning unhealthy patterns and coping mechanisms. Part of healing includes seeking joy and doing things that bring life back to you, and I am going to do that this year without feeling guilty about it. I deserve joy and I deserve grace and non-judgment from myself as I continue to heal and improve my mental health.

I truly believe that 2023 is the year where I bloom. I will breakthrough my self-doubt and self-defeating patterns, and I will do it all with love. I will do it with small acts of kindness, both for myself and others. I will do this by keeping the promises I make to myself. I will do this by forgiving those who have hurt me, and forgiving myself for the judgment I hold towards myself. I will give myself that same grace and empathy that I give to those I love, because I deserve it.

“This Too Shall Pass”

I survived Monday! And if you’re reading this, that means you did too! Congratulations! I hope you did something for yourself today, because you deserve it! I am happy to report that I woke up today in less pain than I’ve been in all week, and it really wasn’t a bad Monday! Work was productive, getting adjusted and chatting with the chiropractor’s assistant was pleasant, and doing some stretches in the comfort of my living room while listening to Mel Robbins is honestly quite therapeutic.

I just wanted to write for a second, because I was reflecting on my generally good mood today, and it truly is insane how different my mood was when I was in pain. I mean it makes total sense! Not only was I irritable because of the pain I felt and how slowly I had to move when doing literally anything, but I felt myself getting anxious about the house chores piling up, and of course starting the worst case scenarios: “what if I am in this horrific pain forever?” But when I found myself sobbing softly in the kitchen (because a hard sob would hurt too much) my brain did something different. Instead of letting myself go down that dark rabbit hole of guilt and negative self-talk, during the very worst of the pain I found myself saying, out loud too myself: “This is temporary, I am okay.”

I knew the back pain was temporary, because I had this same pain a month prior. I knew that I’d continue to see the chiropractor and actually start wearing the back brace (so maybe I didn’t wear the brace and maybe I skipped out on my therapies…I wonder why the pain started. LOL) and that I could get help myself out of this pain. I knew the pain wasn’t going to be there forever, and that I would feel myself again… so why not apply this to all of life’s hard times?

If I wanted to relive my past, which quite frankly I am actively trying to live in the present so that doesn’t sound very appealing, I would wish that I could have thought this way in so many moments. To be able to remind yourself that heavy emotions are temporary, the physical pain is temporary, the need for more rest is temporary, that stressful job is temporary…that can ease so much of the weight in those hard times. It’s easy for me to spiral into negative thought patterns and turn on the self-loathing soundboard, so to be able to stop the downward spiral with the simple reminder that “this too shall pass” is honestly a game-changer. I know, I know… I’ve heard that phrase a million times over in my twenty-seven years of life, but this is when it clicked for me.

As I move through the week and face challenges as they come (including hormonal ones, because sometimes I think mother nature f*cking hates me), I will continue to remind myself that everything is temporary. I get to choose what I focus on, and I am choosing to focus on my happiness. And no matter how heavy things may feel, I’ll just remind myself that this too shall pass.

Low

I believe my last post had to do with my back pain, and I am happy to say that I have had much improvement over the week, but I do still have some pain. I went to my chiropractor and got some new x-rays done, and basically I am making progress which is kind of causing the pain. My hips are off-center because of the 10-degree curve in my spine, and as we are making progress on the curve, my hips are realigning. The way he explained it is that the joint in my hip doesn’t want to continue making progress and it is fighting back, but as we continue with adjustments and my therapies that it will continue to get better.

I am excited to get back in the gym and get back to being active, as I’ve been laying pretty low since having this pain. I have been stretching and still running errands and what not as I want to stay moving, but I can’t wait to be back to 100%! I have a feeling I’ll be feeling that way by the end of this week, considering I’ll be seeing my chiropractor Mon-Wed!

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a little rough for me not to start getting down on myself or anxious. I hate “falling behind” on house chores and I was also super motivated for this new year and to feel like I’ve been spending most of it in pain makes me upset. I have to make sure I take time to remember all of the beautiful things that have already happened this year.

For example, I got to make vision boards with my best friend! We are going to make this a yearly tradition to make vision boards for the new year, and I am so happy with how mine turned out! I also got to hang out with my childhood bff, and just laughing and chilling with her felt healing in and of itself. We’re excited to hang out more this year, and overall I am very excited for this year ahead.

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Portillo’s, which was such a yummy treat. I literally was craving their cheese fries for three days leading up to that lunch date, so to say I was excited was an understatement. After that we traveled out to the Dick’s Warehouse Sale, and after sifting through some very interesting products, we each found a pair of shoes we liked! Once we were home I went to hang out with a friend of mine, and just enjoyed a pretty chill night.

This year hasn’t been bad, I am just learning to live slower and more mindfully. I also feel that this pain has taught me that I need to keep moving and take care of myself, which is something I’ve been saying for a long time, but haven’t been doing. I deserve to be healthy and enjoy life, and I am the only one who can give myself that. As I continue to heal, I will remember to keep tuning into gratitude and being present. Happy Sunday!

2023 vision board

Back Pain (Again)

A month ago I woke up with horrible lower back pain. This is the kind of pain that ibuprofen and stretching don’t touch, and the pain where it hurts to literally do anything. Luckily after a few visits to the chiropractor and more stretching, the pain subsided. Fast-forward to yesterday… I woke up with the pain again.

To be fair, when I woke up it wasn’t as bad as it was the previous month, but as the day went on, it got increasingly worse. I was able to still manage to have a good time as my best friend and I made vision boards, but once I was home the pain felt almost unbearable. My boyfriend had to help me get out of bed and even lift the toilet seat this morning for me, because I can’t bend down without feeling like I’m going to collapse in pain.

Today we’re supposed to go to family dinner at his parents house and I was really looking forward to seeing everyone again, but now I’m debating if I should just lay in bed all day on the heating pad. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with my ovulation or if this is hormonal inflammation, but if that is the case this is something that will be really difficult for me to deal with every month. I’m just praying the pain goes away and I can figure out how to keep it away. If anyone knows anything or has any suggestions, feel free to leave it in the comments!

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.