You know, it's really been a while since I've written - I can't believe it, but it's been close to a year!!
I'd like to take a moment to reflect back on that year and tell a little story. One year ago today, I was with a boyfriend, in an apartment, teaching for my first semester ever, working at a job I despised, and hoping that I could find a way to leave and do something I love. Today, I'm married (to that same boyfriend), in a house, teaching for my third semester, in school for my doctorate, and getting paid to help with research (which I love). I am consistently astounded by how much my life has changed in just one year. And then, to top that off, I think to myself... "oh my word, just one year... in the grand scheme of things, on year is (hopefully) 1/90th of my whole life!!" It seems that we, at times, get so caught up in all that is wrong with our lives, and with how unhappy we are, and then we're rendered hopeless and we feel like there is no way we can change. This is SO not the case.
Side step to my story. About two years ago, I began to write letters to myself to be opened one year in the future. Seriously. I would write letters detailing where I wanted to be and what I wanted my life to look like. I remember the first letter, I didn't think twice about it (I still forget what I write until I open them a year later...), but when I opened it, I was absolutely thrilled to see that my life was just the way I wanted it the year before!! I'm not even joking! I still write letters to myself throughout the year (usually two per year), and this is why. It seems like, for me, when I vision what I'm doing and I have a goal in mind, even when that goal is not at the very front of my brain, I'm working to achieve it. Does that make sense? Even if I'm not always consciously thinking about my goal, it's like I've kept it on a 'subconscious' file in my head, and my actions end up aligning with that goal. Amazing. After the first year of letter writing, my life was further changed when I watched The Secret. Whether or not you agree with it or the message is beside the point. The points is that my life, my view on life, my perception, my thought processes - all of that - were irrevocably changed. Literally, I could not go back to thinking and seeing the world the way I had prior to watching.
I'm not here to tell you to watch it and do what it says - I'm here to tell you that one thing, just one little, seemingly inconspicuous thing, can forever change your life. For me, it started with these simple little letters to myself. Today, it has morphed into so much more. I create my own life. I make my happiness. If I'm unhappy with something, I resolve it or change my situation. This isn't about preaching to write yourself letters (although I would highly recommend it :)...), and it's not about telling you to watch The Secret - this is about taking the power back. YOU are in control of your life, of your actions, of your happiness. It's YOURS. Your feelings are yours, your perceptions are yours, even your anger is yours. This is what it boils down to. Do you let life happen to you? Do you feel like you're a victim in this life, and that you can't do anything about it?! You are not a victim, you play an imperative role. And I end this with just one question... are you happy with your life?
I've been thinking about this blog a lot lately, and I've been contemplating what to write about. I've run the gamut from perceived meanings of quotes to focusing on actions and behaviors. I keep coming back to thoughts and power (I realize that doesn't make any sense, so keep reading...). :)
We've all struggled with our thoughts controlling us at some point. Probably every single one of us has. Whether you struggle with it on a daily basis (train thoughts*), or you just have random thoughts that you don't want, but can't get rid of. Or maybe you're one of those people who have no idea what I'm talking about. If so, read no further. This blog is for those who HAVE struggled, who continue to struggle, and who are looking for ways to end the struggle!! That's right! It ends today!!!
(*train thoughts are the thoughts that start small and keep gaining and gaining speed, and then the brakes go out and they can't stop unless they ram into something, and even then it's a huge disaster because a freight train just ran into a town square)
Well, technically I can't end your struggle, and it probably won't end in just one day... BUT, you CAN begin your journey to end!! And the good news is that the more you work towards this, the easier it becomes, and the happier you are!! It sounds wonderful, doesn't it? :)
The absolute first thing we have to do is accept ourselves (past and present). I harp on that a lot, don't I? Acceptance of oneself is a crucial component to growing. A typical response to a bad memory, fear, or unsettling feeling is to fight it. We don't want those types of thoughts and feelings in our head! We only want the good stuff!! How much we love our spouse or the happy memories of our childhood; nothing bad!! ::sigh:: I wish it was that easy. :)
In fighting bad memories, thoughts, and the like, we are giving those things power! We don't want to give them power! We want to give OURSELVES power. One's thoughts and one's self are two separate entities. We have to envision ourself as capable of anything and on the verge of flying into our blissful future. Conversely, the thoughts that we fight (and inadvertantly give power to) are the rocks that keep weighing us down. Sometimes they're the size of boulders!! We don't want to turn into Atlas! We want to free ourselves of the weight that holds us down! And here's what we do...
Next time your thoughts turn bad or those memories pop up, don't fight them. Just acknowledge them and accept that they exist. That's right, it's that easy! Just accept them! One's fear of the thoughts is what gives them so much power. When you accept them, they mean nothing. Accept that they have popped into your head, accept that you have some bad childhood memories, and accept that you know they exist, but you refuse to let them weigh you down. :)
I promisepromisepromise that you will eventually love your thoughts!! Maybe not right now, and maybe not today, but eventually. And loving your thoughts means that you don't have the weights holding you down, which leads to more self-acceptance, which opens more doors than ever before!!! It's an endless cycle of wonerfulness!!
Keep me posted on how you do!! :)
Our lives are centered around consistsency. We like knowing what to expect, when to expect it, and what the outcome will be. Even our bodies, at their most basic level, thrive on consistency. It's called homeostasis. Our bodies do whatever they have to do to get us at a consistent temperature (for example) so that we last as long as possible. It's innate. It's unstoppable. We like stability and consistency.
What's wrong with that statement? Factually (and opinion-wise), it's correct. Homeostasis is a part of our lives everyday, and humans thrive on consistency. Okay... so what's wrong with that statement? Nothing, you say? I'll tell you what's wrong with it - CHANGE HAPPENS!!!
It happens when you least expect it - in good or bad form. It happens when you don't want it to. It happens right when you feel like you're finally getting settled with whatever it is you're doing. It's like a Mack truck sometimes, it just plows into your life, throwing everything out of whack. Change is inevitable. That's what is wrong with that statement.
What's that you ask - what can I do about it?! Well, it's impossible to 1) control unexpected change, and 2) know when to expect it. Keeping those two points in mind, let's focus on what we CAN do: accept that change occurs. That's it! Just accept that there are times when you can control nothing, except choosing to accept or fight the change that occured.
Let's look at another aspect of change. Sometimes, it leads to better 'things,' such as opportunities, friendships, relationships, career growth. It is amazing what happens when you accept changes when they occur. Give it a whirl and keep me posted on the results!! :)
Many times people will say that they don't have control over what happens to them. Their boss is the pits. Their car broke down. They can't do anything right.
This is not true.
That's right! Not true!!
I'm not disagreeing with anybody who says that they have had a bad day, or that they occasionally get unlucky. What I am disagreeing with is when people say they do not have control. Yes you do! You control you! You, literally, have control over every action you make. Every. Single. One.
C'mon, really, that's a big deal. You probably need to let that sink in for a minute or two...
Now, let's take this one step further. ::Ahem:: What do you NOT have control of in your life? I know that's what you're thinking about. "Well, she's writing this, but she doesn't know my story, and I can't control my boss, and I can't control traffic, etc, etc." Right you are. You cannot control your boss if he's not being nice, and you can't control the traffic when all lanes of the highway have shut down. BUT, you can control YOU. You control YOU. When you are angry with traffic, or when you're mad at your spouse/boss/friend, what can you control? YOU! Channel that anger into productive thinking and figure out where the argument/disagreement/miscommunication (insert problem) went wrong. Then make a conscious decision to look out for that in the future. THEN, move on. You have just controlled yourself. When traffic sucks, accept it. Sometimes traffic isn't on our side. Call where you're headed, let them know you'll be late, and then rreellllaaaxxxx. Turn on some mellow music and hang out. You'll be there for a while, right? So why stay angry? Control yourself.
I find it immensely refreshing knowing that I control myself, and that people don't make decisions for me. When you start down this path, it's empowering!! Start with something small. If you get the wrong drink at a restaurant, tell the server/bartender! Instead of staying mad, you're taking control! Even doing something this small will make you feel good, and that will snowball! It's amazing!!
Call or email me with comments, questions, and/or inquiries about Life Coaching!! :)