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Be Kind to Yourself

With the arrival of the New Year, the infamous (yet mostly unattainable) resolutions have been circulating through our lives once more. In those first few weeks at the beginning of the year a frenzy of placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves ensues in order to make us feel better or put pressure on us to make it a “good” year. We decide to choose resolutions like “I will go to the gym 15 times a week and eat nothing but carrots and celery” that ultimately set us up for excuses or failure and leave us feeling unresolved and even a bit embarrassed.

While I value personal growth and overall health and believe these are things we should strive for, I think that small and practical resolutions that make us feel great are the way to go. In my humble opinion, the behaviors that actually have the ability to change our lives for the better are the ones that we can easily slip into our daily routines with very little effort. Making small changes, equivalent to saving pennies in a jar, will eventually lead to large and impactful new behaviors (and to actually have spending money if you opt for the penny thing).

For some reason, as human beings, we tend to get into the habit of punishing ourselves too often, ultimately repeating a cycle of self-rejection and negative self-talk. Time after time I find myself being my biggest critic when things don’t turn out right, or I’ve decided that I’m inferior to someone else. The “should haves” and “would haves” and “could haves” have become staples in our vocabulary that do nothing but limit our potential to be better.

With the dawn of 2016, I challenge all of you to adopt my resolution for the New Year:

Treat yourself like you would your best friend.

When we look at our friends, we see flaws and we accept them without a second thought; looking past those flaws, we can see the person as a whole. We see people who are deserving of the utmost respect. Why on Earth would we not consider ourselves one of those people who deserve the same amount of understanding?Untitled-design-39

Therefore, every time you have the impulse to punish or insult yourself, try and get into a new habit of asking “Would I say that to my friend?” or “Would I do that to my friend?” If the answer is no, there is a good chance that you should not be saying that to yourself either. You are just as worthy of understanding and acceptance as your friends and I encourage you to see yourself as just that. You are human and you are free to make mistakes, or be weird, or be different, or be the same.

I hereby grant you permission to treat yourself like you deserve to be treated! This one small change in behavior has the potential to make a huge difference. There’s nothing wrong with setting big goals for yourself if those goals are attainable for you, but I urge you to find the importance of the small ones too. Celebrate the little victories just as excitedly because eventually they lead you to the epic ones.

 

Let It In

Do you ever find yourself being the one who watches?

Or maybe the one who holds the bags while everyone else rides the rollercoaster?

How about the person whose happiness comes from looking at beautiful pictures of places they’ve never been?

Sometimes – this is me. And that’s ok. I usually play it safe, and think of all the reasons why not. Why I don’t deserve it. Why I haven’t worked hard enough for it. Why it’s a pipe dream. Why it could never happen because my family has bad luck. But yesterday while I was journaling I thought to myself, “Why?”… What is my Why? Hmmm…. Thought provoking…. I know.

Why have I never done yoga? Why don’t I travel to all of those places I am planning to travel to “one day”? Why do I not dance more? Why do I care what I look like at the gym? Why am I spending so much time wondering why?

It’s important sometimes to reflect on what we spend our time thinking about, worrying about, and stressing about. I often feel as though we spend so much time focused on the things we can’t change, the upgrades, the loud, the negative, the sadness, and the worrisome that we forget to let in the good, the graceful, the calm, the quiet, and the beautiful.

I am fascinated by the grandest things in the world – the places, the sights, the sounds, the cultures. It’s all so beautiful but it’s not something that I generally let myself experience. I find myself watching others go to these places, experience these things, and let it all in. Do you see yourself doing this too?

Well, now is as good of a time as any with the New Year upon us to decide to let it all in.

Instead of focusing on how stressed we are or how worried we are, we can embrace those parts of ourselves and focus on the things that pull us out of those dark places. For me, it’s the pictures of the Northern Lights, the rocks in Sedona, and the beautiful retreats in the mountains of Colorado – I want them to be more than just pictures of places I’ll never see. I want to dance more than just dancing by the chair when I’m around the people I know. I want to focus on being comfortable and practical instead of stressing about what to wear working out. So I vow at this moment, to let it in. Even when I’m sad, or scared, or lonely, or worried, or stressed, or angry, or confused or any other normal emotion… I want to let one beam of light shine through. I want to remind myself that I AM THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO DECIDE WHAT TO LET IN! I am ready to let it in! Will you join me?

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