Boston: Chapter Two

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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 have 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.

I need to love myself more- for you can’t truly love something else until you love yourself.

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.

“Peace comes from within. Don’t seek it without.” -Buddha

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Seven Steps to Being More Mindful at Work

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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.

Being mindful improves focus and awareness, so following these tips can result in being much more creative and effective in the workplace.

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!”

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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.

6. Gratitude

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.

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Enjoying my lunchtime stroll!

What’s holding you back?

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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.

More here:

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.

“I forgive myself, I accept myself, I release who I used to be. I am new.” -Gabby Bernstein

In case you missed it, you can still check out Gabby’s webinar today at 4PM EST, 10PM EST or get a full replay.