Updated: Apr 21, 2020
This is not an easy pill to swallow or a concept that will come easily for many. When we realize we have power over our own thoughts and control over our own identity and the ability to grow we learn that we have the power to write our own story. If you happen to be a dreamer, endless thoughts and what if's, follow them. Find the people in your life who can assist in obtaining them! D o not give up on yourself. Find the time to reflect on your pain, the wounds and turn them into growth and wisdom. We all need the support and motivation from within and surrounding us to achieve what we desire to have.
From infancy we are left in others hands to nurture us, care for us and raise us up to be who we become. Some of us do not have the best up bringing, some filled with trauma, some receiving everything they ever wanted and more. However, some of us don't see it as an opportunity for growth or a way for us to overcome great oppression.
Think back to a time when something really awful or something really amazing happened. How did you grow from that? What did you do, how did you react?
It wasn't until my thirties that I discovered all that I am is due to my experience and my ability to grow from them. Everything that happened was for a reason, or at least what I tell myself. Optimism is powerful. This is what allowed me to push through and find the resiliency within myself and others. To overcome and to acknowledge each experience as a way of self growth took time, here is what I discovered as I went along my journey:
Set limits for yourself, know where your boundaries are and what you are willing to accept for yourself and those around you. Really take time to get to know who you are and what you enjoy doing. Spend time trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone to test your own limits.
Really take an internal inventory of what drives you, what makes you happy, what scares the bejesus out of you and what fears you hold onto with a giant grip! Sit within the moments that cause discomfort, because those are the moments where great growth is often found!
2. Say Goodbye to the People Who Bring You Down
That's right I said it! If you find yourself gossiping about others or not wanting to be around certain people, it may be time to just say GOODBYE to them. This may not be the easiest thing to do either. You may have been friends with this person for many years, they could be part of your family or maybe they are that friend that you find is super draining to your energy levels and just not good for your chakras! This isn't always easy for us to do, especially for those who really care about others. I can honestly speak from my own experience that just fading away from a toxic friendship (on my end) that is was hard to do at first and started as a slow fade then a complete ignore mission. It wasn't something I had given months or even weeks to think about. I just knew within myself I had to say goodbye and once I made my mind up, I slowly took that person out of my equation and with little explaining or feeling sorry for that person. It wasn't hard, because I knew myself and what I needed for my own health and well-being and It also lead me to my number three on this list!
3. Surround Yourself with Positive and Uplifting People
Find people who are going to educate, motivate and uplift you. Find the ones who see the world in a positive way. Surround yourself with beautiful people... INSIDE! These are the people who have drive, offer assistance, want to spend time in your company. If you don't think you are good enough for these kind of people, then go back to step one... and work on that some more! Seriously, these are the people you may have to search for. I found a tribe of them on a Facebook group for single moms who travel. They changed my life in just a few short months. I also tried salsa dancing and learned that I was really good at it. I also happened to meet someone there during the first few months of attending and three years later, we are best friends and live in the same town. We seek one another out often and she is a phenomenal friend, who I would consider family. Finding your tribe isn't always easy and sometimes it takes a lot of work and misfires as well!
4. Be Thankful Everyday
If you can find at least 5 things to be thankful for each day and write them down, you automatically send the universe the message of thankfulness. It could be the worst day of your life, thus far, but finding the good, the joy in each day is so important. I have a bestie from childhood, we stay in touch and see each other from time to time. She has undergone great loss in her life, the kind of loss you would never wish on anyone... and yet she finds the time to be thankful each day and finds the beauty in what she has been given. She is my idol! Just find the joy and state what you are thankful for, even on the day's it seems unbearable to do.
5. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others
I am not sure I can say this enough times. Repeat after me 20 times, "I am my own individual person and I care about my own well-being!" Far too often we find our-self comparing our lives to others. We are looking at our social media accounts in fear and jealousy what others have or have not. We compare ourselves to the best versions of other peoples lives... you know the ones who take a clipped, filtered, and retaken photo at just the right angle for the 50th time and then post it! We want to present ourselves in the best way possible, but we don't share the captured selfie that we took at just the right angle 40 pictures ago where the guy we were blocking, clocks us in the head with his merse because he couldn't get through the space while our hand was in the way! BTW- while we compare ourselves to others, Karen is over here comparing herself and her pathetic life to our amazing one that we just posted about on social media!
6. Read and Write
This is probably my least favorite thing to do. However, the benefits are endless. I recently started to read more books on life coaching and those good old self help books. I have to admit that I hate reading, although I am changing my language about that and really starting to embrace reading, at least 4-5 times a week. I have found it to be a great escape paired with long warm epsom salt baths. I figured, I may as well kill two birds with one stone and get it over with at once. And lets face it, this totally beats the worm hole of good old social media! I'm still trying to learn to write everyday. This was already said above and you can cross writing off your list if you are taking gratitude notes everyday! If you aren't, what are you waiting for? Not ready to talk about all the positivity that surrounds you? Write about something you want for yourself every evening you go to bed. Make it positive and as if you already have it. It's a much better way of getting settled down for bed and setting your brain up for night time success!
7. Get in Touch with Mother Nature
Put the electronics DOWN! That's right... you heard me correctly. Put down those lovely things we hold so tightly onto, and spend a fortune on each time we buy a new one, crack the screen or drop it in the toilet (while sitting on the bowl). You know we have all been there before! It's time to disconnect, and it's also a great way to recharge ourselves. I offend find myself on weekends completely lost in my garden for hours if not the entire day without electronics (ok, almost- I do play music on my Alexa). I really find hiking, biking, walking, going for a run and getting dirty in the garden an important part of connecting to the universe and natural energy. I particularly also garden barefoot, and occasionally go for a pedicure and then do this (palm to face). I have to be honest too, I used to think I couldn't garden or keep a plant alive, but with a little dedication and understanding for nature, it started to just come naturally. Of course I read about gardens and I still have an issue with growing beautiful flowers, but tomatoes is not an issue for me. I strongly encourage the exploration of your neighborhood!
8. Get a Hobby
This is something that you can work on while getting to know yourself better! Remember when I told you just a minute ago to get out there, try something new and figure out what you enjoy doing... well one of those things needs to become a hobby.
A hobby is an activity done regularly in your free time to bring you safety, security and pleasure; it feeds your soul and your dreams. -Tina Dierna
Basically, go find yourself something you really enjoy doing, in your own free time and do it regularly, for FUN! I'm not saying going to the gym is an enjoyable hobby for myself... but I do it regularly to keep myself in shape so I can go play Ice hockey weekly. It's like the training to my hobby. I also garden a lot in the summer and during the warm long days, I enjoy playing in my wood crafting area in the basement. These are all things I really enjoy, most of which are seasonal, which is a great way to switch it up and keep yourself on your toes!
9. Small Acts of Kindness
This, this, this! I do not think I can stress this enough, whether it's paying it forward at the coffee shop, lifting your head high in the high school hall way and saying hello to every student, giving someone a huge hug, or saying thank you with some Hershey kisses and a card... it all goes a long way. If you do this, I promise that it will come back to you! If you are struggling with idea's here are my top 10:
- Start with a big smile and end the day with one too!
- Forgive others
- Do not litter your trash
- Please, oh please... hold the darn elevator
- Bring or brew your coworker a cup of coffee
- Allow someone to merge in traffic (the easier driving will be- Mr. Road Rage)
- Offer to babysit for a parent who may need a night off
- Make a meal for a friend (this is one of my favorites)
I was approached several years ago to assist in finding students who would be interested in building a tiny home with a group of men building. I was intrigued by this opportunity and stepped into the project whole heartedly. I found myself volunteering over the summer, seeing the project come along and being completely captivated by the changes in the students. I also had no idea that a summer of volunteering would transform my career into something more meaningful (for me) and allow me to place students in opportunities like this throughout the school year. I went from a school social worker to a community organizer within the school system (and found much more joy in what I was doing).
One small act of of kindness can open the pathway to a lifetime of happiness - Tina Dierna
10. A Clean House is a Clean Mind
Over the last few years we have seen an uptick in shows that revolve around cleaning your home, keeping a tidy home and minimalism. In a prior blog post, I spoke about loosing 85% of my belongings in my basement, the cluttered mess of no mans land. It was the place where things went to retire, but that I could not get rid of, just a sea of shit floating crap at the end of the day (pun intended). I lost all these belongings to a sewer break that took over several homes and mine was not hit so hard. Over the course of a week a company came in and cleaned everything up and threw out most of my basement belongings. It really gave me the ability to clean my soul and sparked the rest of that year to transform my life. I still have a bit to go, but I stopped spending so much on Amazon and buying things I didn't really need. I started to save my money and make more intentional purchases, but I also started to clean the rest of my house. Room by room I started to get rid of the things I no longer needed, I cleaned the walls, freshly laid the walls with paint and started to design my house and create rooms that gave me excitement and felt homie. Sometimes I get a little lost, and the kitchen isn't clean or my room has two weeks of clean clothing in the basket and my drawers are a mess... but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I clean my room most days and I make my bed without fail EVERY SINGLE DAY! Getting rid of clutter can be difficult. However, study's show that those who live in a clearer environment have less health issues and sleep better then those who live in messy homes. We are taught from any easy age to collect things, not to throw them out and to create an emotional feeling towards objects. This is especially why we have such a hard time sending items to the trash can or donation bin! We create emotional feelings to old objects. Every month, I challenge you to donate or throw away your clutter and if you have children, encourage them as well! Don't ask them to hold onto something they don't play with either (because you are reinforcing that behavior of creating feelings for things). For more assistance in how to break down decluttering projects or to gain more information, go check out Unf*ck Your Habitat! I thought this cite was super interesting!
There is always a valuable lesson, if you choose to see it that way! The experiences and the people I surround my daughter and myself with have been a mixed bag of both amazing and heart wrenching the most painful. Through it all, we have always kept smiles on our faces and see the good in everything. Do not get me wrong, there has been many tears shed and pliantly of trauma... but it has created this amazing parade, a voyage to where we are destine to be!