As promised, Part 2 of 13 Things 2014 Has Taught Me! (If you missed Part 1, go here.)
8. Practice Practice Practice
Life just works better when I’m consistent with my daily practices – which for me include journaling, reading books on personal growth, running or exercise of some kind, gratitude, my version of prayer, and being fierce about watching where my thoughts are going.
When I’m consistent and do them everyday (whether I feel like doing them or not!), my life just plain flows better. I feel better. I get more done. I make more money. I am happier and healthier.
When I slip and get off track of my practices? Well, it doesn’t take long for me to slip back into anxiety, self-doubt, laziness, and being more prone to getting sick. And that’s not helpful.
Practice, practice, practice, baby.
9. Better is better than Perfect
It’s more useful anyway. I’ve come a long way with my perfectionist tendencies (thank goodness for Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” book!!). A long, long way.
Still, I can get tripped up and forget to give myself credit for making improvements even if things aren’t exactly how I want them. The last couple years I’ve been working hard on having a better relationship with food and my body and physical activity. I’m not where I want to be, nor where I expected to be at this time – but I am way further along than I used to be.
Taking time to remember and celebrate the growth I have had is much more helpful in keeping me motivated than getting upset that I’m not in that perfect place yet. Being ok with better makes it easier to continue making changes and not give up.
10. Answers are overrated
Now, I like answers. I like having things planned out and the path before me easy to see and straightforward (metaphorically speaking). Uncertainty isn’t my favorite thing in the world.
And, sometimes, it’s ok to not have all the answers and to stand in some uncertainty for a while.
There were a number of times throughout this year in which I had roughly 10 bucks to my name and no idea when or if more was going to come in. There have been a lot of nights when 3 AM found me perched on the side of my bed breathing my way through an anxiety attack over how I was going to pay the bills and keep my commitments and feed myself and the cat.
I spent a lot of those nights (and days) frantically trying to come up with a plan. Mostly, that wasn’t helpful.
However, the money or resources have always come – and almost always in completely unexpected and surprising ways. And they usually came a lot easier and faster when I could manage to let go of my need to figure out the answer and relax into trusting that the way would share itself with me eventually.
11. Rest more than I think I deserve
Ah, rest. My biggest, and most annoying, teacher this year.
I admit I’ve got some stuff around the idea of “lazy.” I can’t stand when people call me that, I hate feeling lazy, and I don’t want anyone to see me as lazy.
As a result, I tend to push myself to work harder, do more, and go go go more than my body really wants. I’ve gotten a lot better about listening to my body’s need for rest…and still it usually has to yell at me to get my attention.
Well, this fall, with the support of my coach (or I might have gone a bit crazy), I committed to listening to my body’s whispers for rest instead of making it yell.
I rested a LOT as a result. And I had to work through some major mental yuk around laziness, “shoulding,” and feeling like I didn’t deserve to rest so much. Not to mention the fears around my business going kaput or the fear of losing my entire social circle.
Shockingly (to my fearful brain at least), my business is still trucking along and my friends have not abandoned me!
And, generally speaking, I have a ton more energy and motivation for all that things I do have and want to do 🙂
12. Life is a paradox
Life, or mine at least, appears to be full of seeming contradictions that exist equally at the same time.
The structure of daily practices brings me the sense of freedom that I deeply crave.
Breaking the rules of how what I “should” do and not do brings more stability, money, and safety to my life.
Doing less = accomplishing more.
Setting boundaries = deeper connections.
Less perfection = better work.
It often doesn’t make sense. And that’s ok. Logic is overrated 🙂
13. Understanding not necessary
Here’s a big one. I don’t need anyone else to understand (or agree with) what or why I do/feel/am the way I do/feel/am.
Many people don’t understand my deep need for regularly scheduled hermit days – and why I’ll turn down social invitations because I have one scheduled.
Many don’t understand the depth of grief and longing I still feel for my daughters or my fiancé though they have been gone for many years.
My parents don’t understand why I couldn’t do the logical thing and get a part-time job to ease the financial stress while my business grows.
Many many people don’t understand my eating preferences – particularly why I don’t like what I don’t like.
Other people’s understanding of me and my life doesn’t really matter. It’s not their life, it’s mine. This is my life to live and how I live it is completely and utterly my choice – and mine alone.
We are each on our own journey through life. I don’t have to understand yours or you mine in order for us to love and support each other. Because the bottom line is that we are all on a journey, a journey no one can live but us.
Let’s just enjoy the adventure!