Do you ever find yourself, every so often, wondering what your life is all about? You reach a point where you start re-examining your purpose because you feel just a little off center? I do...
2016 was a crazy year for me, a literal roller coaster ride of changes. Most of them were awesome, but just when I was feeling head in the clouds high, the 2016 ride came to an abrupt end. When the holidays were over I found myself feeling unbalanced thinking what am I going to do with you 2017? What do you want from me this year? And that's when I decided to take the time to figure it out. I gave myself 30 days to get my s*** together and get back on track.
BEST. DECISION. EVER.
I decided to focus on getting my mind, body and spirit in order and re-balance my life. The result was a clearer mind, healthy weight loss and a stronger faith. I feel better than ever so I decided to share the things I did with you. Keep in mind, everybody's journey is different. These are the things that helped get me back on track. The important thing is that you take time to be still and listen to what your body, mind and spirit need. If you do, you might be amazed at what happens.
First things first. One of the things I realized when things seemed out of sync was that I had not been focused on my faith. These days there is so much noise pulling us away from what's important. We feel the need to stay "busy" and we're constantly checking our phones so we don't miss anything. We all do it. But do we ever take time to simply be still and get quiet? I took some time to unplug from things like email and social media and decided to plug in to a higher power and it made an unbelievable difference in my life. Now when things don't feel right I let go and let God and oh what a difference it has made. I start my day with focused prayer and set daily intentions for my life. I do that before I turn on the TV, check my social media or connect to family and friends. Whatever you believe, wherever you are in your life's journey, take some time to stop and get connected to a higher power and you will see a wonderful shift in your life.
One of the other things that felt out of balance was my health. I have no problem admitting that I am now in my 50's. I do the best I can to take care of myself and I am really trying to embrace this stage of life. BUT, I am realizing that the older I get the harder it is to stay on track. As we age our health becomes more about how we feel and not just about how we look. I wanted to feel better inside and out so one of the things I did was work to make my body stronger. Now, instead of hitting the snooze button I get up and get to the gym first thing in the morning. Once you make it a habit you realize it's a great way to start the day.
I also decided to try the Whole30 program and it was one of the best things I have ever done. It was quite a challenge (especially because I am a girl who loves a happy hour cocktail!) but I made the commitment and I am SO happy I did. The result was an 8 lb weight loss, a clear and focused mind, better sleep and the joint pain I had been experiencing is gone. And although I plan to occasionally indulge in the foods I love, I have tamed my sugar dragon for good. Whole30 is a way of life, not a diet. You don't need powders, pills and packaged food to see amazing results. It's clean eating, period, and it has changed my life.
"Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us."
Mindfulness is a powerful thing. I had never really taken the time to understand or practice mindfulness or meditation until recently. When you become still and embrace the here and now it can be a game changer in how you go about your every day. At the end of last year I was struggling with not feeling very focused and on New Year's Eve my daughter actually said " Mom, you really should meditate". Wise words. I downloaded the Meditation Studio App on my phone and I am quite hooked. There are a variety of series and collections with different instructors and styles of meditation. You'll find meditations for stress, sleep and anxiety to happiness, performance and confidence so you can choose just what you need for how you feel at any given time. The time frames range from 3 minutes to 30 minutes so you don't have to have a lot of time. And you will be surprised what a difference a 3 minute meditation will do for your mind, body and spirit. Learn to be still.
Gratitude is another very powerful piece to the puzzle of life. Gratitude changes everything. When we learn to see the good in things we are happier, less self centered, more productive and much kinder. Gratitude does not just mean saying thank you for a gift or a kind word someone gives you. It's those things too but it also means appreciating the things that might not seem like good things at first. It's saying thank you for the struggles in your life because without them you might not be where you are. How many times have you looked back and thought wow, I am so much better off or I am so glad that happened that way... (insert girl with her hand in the air here). Think about it... So when something doesn't go the way you think it should or you don't get what you thought you needed or wanted just have faith and be grateful. Because chances are, you are being led to something far greater than you could have imagined.
This 30 day journey taught me that when you stay true to yourself, take a step back and give yourself time to regroup everything starts to make sense again. And when you come back to center you will find that you are so much more equipped to live the life you imagined. And that's also when you'll realize that just maybe you are right where you are supposed to be. You simply needed to be still to realize it.
So don't ever settle for anything less than the extraordinary life you were meant to live. It's in every single one of us. Take some time for you, get quiet and listen to your inner self so you can be balanced, be happy and be at peace.
Cheers to all of the good things happening in 2017!