There’s a fine line between having goals and going with the flow of the universe. I used to drive myself crazy worrying about the future, planning, and ultimately beating myself up if life didn’t go the way I “thought” it “should” go.
There was a long period of time where I ignored my intuition and stopped following my heart in order to fit in with the world around me. That only got me right back where I started: at the drawing board. Perhaps I am much more of a square peg in a round hole than I thought, because I can only fake who I am for a very short period of time before I find myself irritable and discontent.
Over the past year, I’ve taken baby steps to be honest with myself and others- even when it feels extremely uncomfortable.
It’s been ten years since I graduated from college, and over this past decade I’ve lived in a handful of cities and worked a variety of jobs. However, my heart has always guided me back to writing, creative endeavors, and entrepreneurial ventures. Of course, we all need to find ways to make money, but my calling was never to go to school to obtain a certain degree or license to perform specific job duties. I’ve always been a free spirit. My degree, entrepreneurship, has left my options extremely open, which has caused me to run in circles, wondering which option to choose.
All I truly want is help people, write, and bring good to the world.
Just the other day, someone asked me where I see myself in ten years. I answered as honestly as possible: “I see myself as a published author with a little house on the beach.”
Do I see myself climbing the corporate ladder? No, I never did. Do I have still have aspirations of being a fashion marketer in New York City, an attorney, or an editor for someone else’s publication? Not anymore.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that if you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’ll keep getting the same results. It’s time for me to do something different. I am just not sure where to begin: so I’ll leave it to the universe.
I’m sure she has something even better in store for me than what I could ever imagine.
It’s hard to believe that ten years ago this week I packed up my things at Central Michigan University and headed to Metro Detroit to start my first post-college job. One called-off engagement, many career changes, endless lessons and six cities later, I think I have life figured out just a little better than I did at 22 (fingers crossed!).
That said, I have been feeling very nostalgic.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my purpose and what kind of career would make me feel fulfilled. It’s been about two months of deep thought and I think I have it down- I no longer have a desire to be a “woman in business,” to move up the ladder, to have a fancy title or to “lean in.” No, my purpose is deeper than that- I simply want to help people. Social services, writing and encouraging others. Spreading positivity and sharing experience, strength and hope. Whether or not this results in being a “female entrepreneur” (ugh, I detest hype and buzz words), the least I can hope for is to make a difference in a life or two.
As I begin to write the pages of the next chapter of my story, my spiritual growth and continuous self-improvement, I have wide eyes and a clear mind. I am beyond grateful to the supportive community I have been welcomed into, the opportunities to serve others and to even brighten someone’s day through my photos and words.
As I manifest the life I hope to live, I am nothing but optimistic for the future, as I know I simply have to speak my truth, stand up for what I believe in and be kind- both to myself and others.
It has been about five months since I started this blog, just six days after I took a one-way flight to Boston.
Prior to coming here I had no idea what my plan was- after over two years in New York City, a failed attempt at trying out Chicago, and finally taking a much-needed month long reset in Mississippi, I followed my intuition and spiritual guides… and found myself back on the East Coast. It feels wonderful to be on the water, where I belong; where I feel at peace.
Over the years I had a lot of shame in telling my story, but now I finally feel ready to free myself of this. People often look at me strangely when I explain the past decade of my life. Somehow, for some reason, it’s unfathomable for a 20-something year old from the Midwest to have lived in various cities across the US. They can’t wrap their heads around the fact that I’ve tried different types of jobs, been in several different relationships, and lived in the North, South, East and West.
Most of society seems to enjoy consistency and stability. Personally, I like to challenge myself- and what better time to learn who you are than when you’re young and unattached? I am always searching, always seeking a deeper purpose or meaning. That’s just me.
Back in November, I had no idea what I would find in Boston. I didn’t know where I would work, where I would live, who I would be friends with or how I would fill my spare time, but I knew it would work. This time it just had to.
I absolutely love it here. While it has taken me some time to get comfortable with my surroundings and develop a community, I am finally feeling more at home. Recently I realized that despite my wonderful surroundings, I still have a lot of work to do on myself- and I am just figuring out the root of my issue.
This next chapter of my life isn’t so much about working on what’s happening on the outside, but focusing on the inside. Once I am comfortable in my own home- within myself- I know that my mind will be much more at ease, and I’ll be able to give more to others. We all have a purpose, and my current mission is to “clean house” and get rid of the negative self-talk, cognitive distortions and my warped self-esteem that holds me back. I must let go of my fears- whether it is abandonment, shame or pride, and learn to finally believe in myself the way the ones I love do.
Here’s to the next chapter and a clean house- both physically and mentally.
The practice of mindfulness is not only beneficial to mental and physical health, but also increases productivity thanks to improved concentration and energy. Since making meditation and mindfulness habits in my everyday life, I have enjoyed coming into work each day, use my time more efficiently and have been able to work better.
1. Be Present
Focusing on one assignment or project at a time is crucial to being mindful in the workplace. When your attention shifts from one distraction to another, it’s important to remember to go back to where you left off and become present in the task at hand.
2. Make Lists
Start your day with a list of “to-dos” to accomplish. Working on one project at a time will help you increase productivity and stay organized. Re-prioritize your list throughout the day if necessary.
3. Mindful Reminders
Write cheerleading statements on post-it note and stick them on your desk. These simple reminders will motivate you and help to stay in the moment. Don’t know how to get started? Begin with simple statements such as “This is only temporary” or “I can do it!”
4. Take a Breather
Step away from the desk and enjoy a walk around the neighborhood or short break to re-group. Give yourself time and space to re-energize throughout your day to improve concentration and overall productivity. I always take a few minutes during lunch to grab a coffee, walk down to the harbor or take photos of downtown Boston. Enjoy the beauty around you!
5. Radical Acceptance
This is one of my favorite DBT skills. Radical acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like everyone or each situation, but it does mean you must accept things for how they are. While you don’t have to agree with someone, it’s important to validate them by acknowledging their thoughts or opinions.
Interrupt anxiety with gratitude! It’s so easy to fall into a negative mindset when something doesn’t go your way. Instead of focusing on your triggers, shift your focus to your blessings. Remember: you’re working, you’re fulfilling a purpose, and you’re needed. Try and focus on the positives and have gratitude for your position, opportunity, coworkers or work output.
7. Mindfulness Exercises
There are a variety of mindfulness exercises you can do at your desk to keep yourself balanced throughout your day. The Harvard Business Review gives tips and a guided breathing exercise to keep you present. According to HBR, “Mindfulness helps increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and even enhances creativity.”
Learn more about mindfulness at work at Mindful.org.
Today I started my Sunday with coffee, conversation and a dose of Gabby Bernstein. She has been an inspiration to me through her spiritual teachings and explanations of energy, the universe and overall perspective.
Gabby put on a free New Year Breakthrough webinar to start 2017 off on the right foot, but more importantly, to help us make permanent changes to help manifest the amazing year we want to live.
She explained how the only New Year’s Resolution you need is to discover the root of the behavior or bad habit you want to change– and work on changing that behavior or attitude. Without acknowledging the “why” to the bad behavior, it’s impossible to consistently make improvements and change.
Gabby explained the five steps to healing, ultimately resulting in a true change in both your thoughts and behaviors. I took notes of what my own attitudes and behaviors were while she went through the steps:
1- What is the core belief or wound behind the bad habit?
Abandonment and rejection.
2- Look closely at the behavior behind the feeling or habit. What are your bad behaviors?
Since I’m afraid of abandonment and rejection, I find myself pushing people away, quitting activities or jobs, procrastinating, treating my body poorly and judging myself or others. Since I have these fears, I haven’t 1) reached my full potential 2) developed a meaningful romantic relationship or 3) found my niche in the workplace.
3- Become willing to heal.
In order to make changes, you first have to want it and be willing. If I consider asking for guidance, I’m taking a crucial step in radical self-forgiveness, healing and change. Letting go of ego, a defense mechanism for fear, is a huge part of my path to recovery- I have to let the negative thoughts go. I continue to run to avoid failure, which is blocking my path to healing.
4- Tapping method- tap on the struggle or behavior.
Gabby explained the Tapping Method, which is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Doing a conscious “tapping” on our body will help to focus our energy on our current stress and acknowledge our willingness and capability to change.
5- Forgive who we were and accept who we are today!
Sure, 2016 was rough- but it’s a brand new year! We must remember that we have to be forgiving of ourselves, know that we did the best we could for the situation that was handed to us, and act differently in the future.
We must remember it is safe to let go of the past and to give it over. If we carry resentments today, we can’t receive the gifts of tomorrow.
In case you missed it, you can still check out Gabby’s webinar today at 4PM EST, 10PM EST or get a full replay.
I can’t remember ever being “normal.”
While there technically is no such thing as this, I can at least say that I never fit in with the crowd. Historically it has always been much easier to identify with people on a one-on-one basis; groups weren’t the best setting for me.
I’ve always spent a lot of time reading, writing, and normally do everything solo. I graduated high school a semester early and skipped all of our senior activities. I went to a college where I didn’t know anyone. I quit secure jobs to follow my dreams and freelance independently. From growing up as a only child loner to city hopping while my peers are getting married and buying homes, my actions seem to always go against the grain.
I get a lot of questions about this all. It used to give me great anxiety- having to explain my introversion on top of my off the cuff decision-making. Sometimes it was on a whim, influenced by a relationship, or to seek a fantasy; yet lately I realized that my experiences, cities, jobs and relationships have made me more prepared for what I do want.
In the past, yes, I made several major choices based on intuition, spiritual experiences and pure emotion. I am starting to feel more comfortable with my colorful story of the past decade, recognizing themes and realizing which cycles I need to break.
Although I never think I’ll stop doing things alone, following seemingly crazy dreams, being creative or constantly curious, I’m open to whatever tomorrow brings as long as there’s a notebook and coffee.
I honestly couldn’t have gotten any luckier with how seamless this move has been- from logistics right down to finding a job. When I decided to come to Boston I opted to rent Airbnbs instead of committing to a neighborhood or lease before really knowing the area. After all, I had only been to Boston once and it primarily consisted of sitting at the top of the Prudential Tower and hanging out in Cambridge. For whatever reason (I thank the Universe), signs continually pointed me to the Northeast- so here I am.
Now I’m settling in a beautiful, cozy home, lovingly referred to as “The Nest.” On top of the overall positive, homey vibe, we have two four legged roommates, Simon the turtle and Clarissa the cat.
Although my first month in Boston could be viewed as a little hectic, my minimal move made it so much less stressful. Packing light made all the difference in the world- with three pieces of luggage and a few odds and ends, packing and unpacking took very little time, was manageable and made me feel in control of my life. I knew exactly what I owned, where to find everything, and didn’t have any clutter. Everything I brought with me was quality, had purpose, and didn’t take up unnecessary space.
I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels to be free of “things.” Every now and then I think about everything I have in storage back in Michigan, but I let those thoughts go; I’ll take care of it when it is time. When I am ready to find my own (and even more permanent!) home, I will figure out how to get everything to Boston- just not today.
Right now I have a pretty bare room with touches of my jewelry, clothes and candles. To be honest though, the less I own, the less stress I have.
Amazing, isn’t it?