I didn’t realize how different my life has become until I started looking back on old posts.
It’s a new year so as always, I find my nostalgic self scathing through all the photos, words, and memories I captured in the past twelve months.
2018 was a year where everything began to change for me mentally; I went from planning out my every move to truly being okay with only focusing on the week ahead. Sometimes I’ll really only think about the day in front of me.
That sounds like a bunch of ludicrous and I still can’t believe it myself, but I’ve stopped caring about what my future holds. Not in the negative sense, but that I’d rather unfold the days than plan out years in the future.
In truth, not knowing what’s next has become my favorite part about life. Every time I’m thrown a curveball or something works out totally different than planned, I wonder what the universe has in store instead.
I mean, I’m human, I still experience all the negative emotions that come with things not going your way but it’s in letting those emotions come and go that we find our power.
I used to try putting a positive spin on everything in my life. If someone dumped me, my body image was shit, or I felt depressed in any way, I’d try to find a ‘spiritual’ perspective.
Everything happens for a reason.
The Universe has a better plan.
You’ve been given your exact struggles because it is what you need to heal within.
While all of these things are true, telling myself these truths when all I want to do is cry defeats the purpose.
I didn’t realize it was possible, but you can fully be aware that things happen for a reason whilst also letting yourself cry over it.
As of late, my mental health has been good. January has proven to be a good reset button for me.
However, I still have had a few down moments. I’ve been upset over some of my relationships and also found myself looking to perfect a morning routine again.
Since working nights and going out have become a part of my life, my sleeping schedule has shifted dramatically. I used to be an early bird and now I’m in bed until at least noon.
I’ve been telling myself that I need to get up earlier and be productive before work. It’s been bothering me all week that I can’t get out of bed early or do all of the morning rituals that my past self did so religiously. I hardly journal, meditate, or do yoga anymore. It’s become a more once of a week thing than daily.
Thing is though, my life is different now. I don’t have to work at 7am. I don’t have any reason to get up early. I don’t like the idea of losing out on sleep to be productive. I’d rather let my body get enough rest and shift the times where I’m productive.
It’s 10pm as I’m writing currently. I used to tell myself I needed to write in the morning or afternoon or it wasn’t going to happen. But hell, I got out of bed at 2pm today. I won’t be asleep until about 4am. In reality, 10pm is actually the middle of my day now. It took me a couple of weeks to realize that.
I don’t need my levels of productivity to match someone else’s. I have a life all my own and whatever works for me, works for me.
It’s felt like a huge weight off of my shoulders.
Also, the fact I’ve taken the pressure off gives me the freedom to get up whenever I’d like. Some days that may be noon, some 2pm, others 10am. It truly depends on the day which I love.
I’ve preached it since 2016, but the present moment is truly all that exists. The past happened and if you’re like me, it makes a great teacher to look back on, but the future is simply more of how we feel in the present. Different experiences, of course, but the same underlying emotions.
If our days are filled with exhaustion, anxiety, and hopes for the next best thing, we’ll never reach a better time in the future. Those feelings will continue to live with us until we find ourselves taking a step back, figuring out where those feelings come from, and finding a new direction.
When I worked at my old job, old and new location, my days were a furnace of anxiety. I spent so much time trying to fix my life that I hardly spent time living it. If you look back on some of my posts from 2017, you’ll see even in my words how ‘go-go-go’ my mindset was. I talked of trying to take it easy and focus less on the future, but I never put those words in to practice.
When I first started embracing living in the moment, I took it very seriously. I wouldn’t do a damn thing without feeling completely aligned with it. This is a good place to start, but sometimes, there are going to be things in life you don’t totally want to do. Sometimes you need to shower when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes you need to get groceries, clean, get an oil change, attend a social function, and so on. You can’t avoid doing something because you don’t 100% feel like doing it.
Those who have developed exercise regimens will tell you the same. Most people don’t have motivation every single day and yet, they have the discipline to still get their ass to the gym. If there’s something you want enough out of life, you’ll make it happen regardless if you feel committed to it all of the time.
However, there is an exception to this.
If you feel like you have to do something and your gut tells you something is off, you listen to your gut over being disciplined. That inner voice will never steer you wrong. It could mean the difference between getting in to a car accident on the way to the gym, running in to someone you shouldn’t see at a social event, and so on.
There isn’t an exact science to behaving totally aligned with your higher self all the time, but finding out what you care about and listening to what feels good internally is a solid start.
Come the new year, a lot of people set tons of resolutions and get down on themselves when they can’t follow through. They set up a plan to achieve something they want and while the discipline may be there temporarily, if you aren’t truly about what you want to achieve, the plans will fall short.
If you’ve never exercised consistently, maybe setting a five times a week plan isn’t the most realistic.
If you want to wake up at 7am instead of noon, making the switch overnight will only shock your body.
It’s in taking life with ease that anything sticks.
The energy around the decisions we make determines the direction of our lives.
You can have the best of intentions with setting goals, but if you’re hard on yourself or over-exerting your energy along the way, those feelings overpower any positive change that was on the way. They become a complete barrier to the good things you want to manifest.
In my own life, this happened directly with my eating disorder.
When I was eighteen, I set an innocent goal to lose some weight. I thought tracking my food would hold me accountable. Yet, once I got completely immersed in the numbers, my pure intention suddenly turned in to constant body shame and restriction.
No matter how ‘good’ I was at tracking, I never lost any weight. I actually gained and felt worse than I ever did in my body for a solid two years. The two following years were spent trying to heal from how distorted my body image had become.
So I’m here to tell you, energy is everything. I got warped by the fitness lifestyle and nearly lost myself in the process. I would do it all over again because it led me here, but I don’t wish that pain on any of you.
This year, my hope is that those who set resolutions don’t find themselves plummeted beneath them.
You are more than what you accomplish. You are not a failure for failing at unrealistic expectations.
Set your goals, strive to be your best version, but don’t let yourself be defined by the things you do.
We exist for such a short period of time and while we came down here to learn, we also came down to live.
In words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’
No matter the highs or lows you find yourself in this year, you’re still you.
And with ourselves in tow, no matter what we’re thrown, we’re endlessly gifted a comfort blanket to come home to.