Growing up I said the phrase, “Do I have to?”, quite a bit (sorry Mom!). It was normally reserved for when I had to take out the garbage, sweep the floors or apologize to my sister.
I’d like to think that the moaning mindset of have to naturally went away and I grew into a perfect adult who knew better. Spoiler alert: I did not.
I’ve had to actively shift my mindset to a more productive and beneficial thought process that is actually quite simple. Instead of saying, “have to”, I now say “get to”. Now, that may not seem like a big, life-changing statement but hear me out. In college, I first heard this “get to” jargon and it didn’t really stand out to me at first. I was caught up in the frenzy and excitement of living in a new country and making new friends that everything was perceived as an amazing opportunity or privilege. It wasn’t until the shiny newness of it all wore off that I felt challenged in my heart by what that statement really meant – It’s a shift from obligation to choice. It’s empowering.
I don’t have to be a kind person but I choose to be one. I don’t have to show up to meetings or to a coffee date with a friend but I choose to be a reliable person. I don’t have to work hard but I want to feel accomplished in my career and life, so I do. I don’t have to exercise but I want to be strong and independent until the day I’m no longer on this earth. I don’t have to eat well but I choose to honour my body and fuel it with what it needs and not over stuff it which can be the easier or tempting option.
Life is a beautiful opportunity and privilege. I choose to embrace it and enjoy it, not feel obligated or dragged down by it. Now, obviously, there are things that we truly have to do as adults that are unavoidable like paying rent/mortgage, taxes ect. Even in those situations, I would challenge you to shift that mindset from, “I have to pay rent/taxes”, to “I have a place to live! Wow! I am so grateful and I have a job that helps me pay for it!”.
It also looks like practicing gratitude and counting all the good in your life instead of the negative. Instead of focusing on what isn’t going well, it’s looking for opportunities to change the situation and make it into something you can smile at.
It does take time but I promise that it is well worth the practice.
I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for or what area of your life you could start implementing this mind-shift down below in the comment section.
There is something you should know about me. I’m a planner…a colour coding enthusiasts and check list fiend. My brain thinks in a default setting of getting stuff done. It is a core characteristic of who I am. Don’t even get me started on pro’s and con’s lists….*swoon*
I need to continually remind myself to relax and embrace the flow of life. Things will not always go to plan now matter how organized and well intentioned I am.
One way that this really shows up is in my physical health. I’ve struggled with body image and my relationship with food since high school. I have gone through long stretches of time where I am very regimented and strict and other times where I couldn’t remember the last time I did something healthy for myself.
This past year and a bit have taught me a lot about myself and letting go of the unrealistic, strict and sometimes unkind standards that I was holding myself to. Life has become a lot more enjoyable by giving myself permission to be imperfect.
Now how, you may ask do I reconcile the A-type, list loving personality with the new laid back, permission giving approach to life? Well…it’s not been the most glamorous transition. Mainly I repeat to myself these two very simple thoughts:
1- “Be kind to yourself (or body, or personality etc), she gets you from A to B.”
2- Perfection is not obtainable but excellence is.
How does implementing those two thoughts look? It can be as simple as catching a negative thought spiral; stopping and saying a positive thing about myself or what I’ve done. It could also be activated when I notice I’m comparing myself to other people and their seemingly perfect life. In those moments I remind myself that I’m seeing a beautifully curated moment of their life. I try to quickly follow up those thoughts of comparison by saying something that I like or admire about them to keep myself from getting bitter or jealous. I want to always champion people on and genuinely celebrate their success or accomplishments.
I hope today’s musing has been helpful for someone out there. We are all just doing our best and by simply giving yourself permission to be a work in progress is a great first step to a more balanced heart and mind.
Did you see how I snuck a list in there? #CantStopWontStop
I’ve picked up a new habit this year… at first I was hesitant, but I’m now a convert to the world of dry brushing.
What, you ask, is dry brushing? Well, it’s an ancient treatment of rubbing a dry bristle brush over your skin in circular motions to help exfoliate/slough off dry, dead skin.
Today, I’d like to announce the new love of my life…BarreCore! It has taken me a year to get my tush into a Barre class, and after multiple attempts, on Sunday it finally happened!
Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t catch your breath? That no matter how hard you tried to calm down, and talk yourself out of freaking out, it was just getting worse? How about feeling like no matter how hard you are working, you can’t get through that to-do list?
Worrying about what people are thinking, how they see you, and if you are making the right decision in any given situation is a daily struggles for most of us.
When it comes to my nighttime routine, I am fiercely loyal to it. This was not always the case, but after struggling and living with random bouts of insomnia that can last for months at a time, you can understand why I am so protective of my sleepy-time.
For myself, consistency is key. I find that if I deviate too far from the norm, I may tip the delicate scales that is a good night’s sleep.