As I read many of your blogs I can see that we are on a similar path of questioning our lives, bettering ourselves and pursing our dreams. As I seek to accomplish the same, mine is a three part story and also an endless loop of lightening up, sparking joy and creating love. Creating a life that I love and that inspires the world.
Success So Far
Some of the less exciting details. In the past year I have lost 25 pounds, toned and strengthened my body, spent five to eight hours a day examining my values, thoughts and inner-conflicts while embracing a new lifestyle mindset of mindfulness and minimalism. All with the help of some of the best mentors, teachers, authors and leaders I can find.
Without going through the harrowing details of my personal backstory, the most important thing to know about me (that I think can help you) is that on July 18, 2014 I had had enough. Enough of everything, including –
- The exhausting “weight of the world” that I thought I held.
- Managing clients with entitled attitudes and bad business models.
- Rushing through my days without a moment to breath.
- Feeling like a worn, torn and tired door mat.
- Arguing and getting enraged at my family because I didn’t know how to ask for help.
- Tackling daily task lists that ran the length of a full page of Staple’s copy paper.
- Trying to play the role of super woman while managing everyone’s mess but my own.
Change don’t come easy.
I honestly believe it takes that amount of anger, pain and/or strong emotion to push someone out of a rut and/or from the false sense of security that society is trying to sell us to creating and designing a life that you love.
This type of energized and emotional fuel is what takes you from reading your hundredth self-help book filled with life hacks to actually taking action.
We are not what we think, or what we feel or what we say, we are what we do. Actions do indeed speak louder than words. If you are unhappy with a particular part of your life, take a strong look at what you are doing to be happier.
Part 1 Lightening Up
Symbolically, I think the added 25 pounds that I gained were due to the heaviness of life, daily strife and stress and uncertainty. I was caught in the spin cycle of success. That compounded with sitting at my desk for 10 hours, eating a mindless lunch and banging away at the keyboard with only face-to-screen interaction for most of the day that did me in.
My transformation began with –
- Getting up earlier each morning to make the time for me.
- Changing my habits and designing result rituals – daily, repeated steps towards my success.
- Remembering to rest, breathe and take a moment to come back to the present.
- Counting calories while eating low-fat nutrient dense foods.
- A powerful dose of daily cardio and strength training workouts.
- Scheduling a 10-20 minute vipassana meditation practice daily.
- Starting each day with a gratitude journal.
- A never-ending commitment to reading, learning and expanding my mind.
Part 2 Sparking Joy (where I am now)
It’s all about letting go. Realizing that perfect is the enemy of good. While it is important to have control over our lives, it can be counterproductive to attempt to control our lives. The energy spent trying to be perfect can keep us from enjoying and appreciating all the good things that exist right before us.
Which also means letting go of thoughts, things, people and habits that no longer spark joy in my life.
“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
I am in the process of –
- Removing anything in my home and work environment that doesn’t give me a sense of true enjoyment.
- Guarding my time and my mind with my life. (Note: The 7-Day Mental Diet helps with the mind part)
- Detoxing my doubts and limiting beliefs about what I can actually achieve.
- Saying no instead of yes to people who want my time, even if the immediate rewards seem really great. My new motto, “If I don’t feel it, I don’t do it.”
“The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Part 3 Creating Love
For me, creating love in my life begins with forgiving myself and others, no matter what my ego says.
Forgiving ourselves is a process that continues our whole life. We are so used to replaying the story of what is wrong with ourselves and others that living with a resentful, tight heart can become our most familiar way of being.
Thousands of times we might find ourselves caught in stories of what we are doing wrong. Thousands of times we might drop under our blame to where the deeper pain lives. With each round of freeing ourselves through forgiveness, we strengthen our recognition of our basic goodness.
If you have decided to make a change in your life, I would love to hear about your transformational process – what is working for you, books you are reading, workouts you love, films that have inspired with you.