Listen to your gut feeling.

A couple days ago I had applied for a job. I was feeling the pressures of society, the notion that you need to be contributing and making money in order to be someone of worth. I was embarrassed that when people asked me what I did today my answer was something along the lines of, “Oh, I just practiced yoga, played with my dog, and watched some Netflix,” and the typical response received was, “Nice! That sounds like a relaxing day off!” Knowing that I am sitting at home while other people work at their jobs, made me feel inadequate. So I put on my happy face, gave myself a pep talk, and applied for a part-time job.

Today, I got a phone call saying that I got the job. I graciously accepted at first, but as soon as I hung up the phone the feelings of regret gnawed away at my stomach. I tried to ignore them at first, telling myself that it was good that I got a job and that it would help me feel better to get out into the world and push myself. But then I thought, I do not feel well… why am I pushing myself to work?

So an hour later, I called them back. At first I was going to lie, as I do with most important things like jobs, and school. But when I heard that “hello” on the other side of the line, my courage pushed through and I allowed myself to be honest. I thanked them for the opportunity, and said that I had thought about it and it just wasn’t the right job for me at the moment. After being asked why, and if there was anything that would change my mind, I maintained my composure while explaining that I have some anxiety, and other health problems that may make me unreliable. I stated that I was very interested in the position, but needed to go see my doctor and sort my health problems out before committing.

I feel good about what I said. Being honest felt better than any lie I would have normally told, and the best part is, that they were still interested in having me at their job in the future, if the position was still available when I was feeling better.

When I hung up the phone, I unexpectedly started to cry tears, but these tears were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. They were neither sad, nor happy. My heart was bursting with pride. I was so proud of myself that I had erupted into these tears embodying self-love and compassion. I had listened to my gut, and stood up against the society that had made my feel guilty for not working at a job. Instead of working, I am giving myself permission to take the time and effort to heal my body and soul. I feel like I cannot contribute in a way that honours myself and the way I would like to help others until I have worked on loving myself unconditionally and resolving my physical health issues. I hope that this was just the first of many future times listening to my intuition and standing up for what I think I need.

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Live life in the moment.

I don’t know why I worry about the future so much. It’s like my thoughts are constantly nagging me. With each experience, my mind thinks, “How is this going to impact the future?” I don’t know how it started because I feel like I’ve always thought that way. Even as a young child I was always thinking ahead, wondering how I could be better and create the best possible future life for myself. In my mind I was often several steps ahead of what was happening now.

I keep trying to use the techniques they taught in therapy, the strategies that I’ve read about in all those self-help books, but the nagging persists. The only time I feel at ease is when I’m practicing mindfulness. Otherwise, my head gets so wrapped up in thoughts that I’m on autopilot and not actually living life.

Being in the moment is so important. A lot of the time, the most amazing and beautiful things in life are right there in front of me, not in some preconceived “future”. The sun streaming into my window, walking on the untouched snow, savouring a cup of hot chocolate. These are the type of experiences that I’ve been able to enjoy and appreciate when I’m in the moment, the type of experiences that I usually miss out on when my mind is busy imagining scenarios of the future.

I still do catch myself worrying about my future career, health, finances, and relationships. However, when I realize my mind is getting carried away into the unknown, I remind myself that the present is the only thing that is here right now, it is the only thing I can know is happening for sure. I feel the sun on my skin, I feel my feet sink into the fresh snow, I taste the almondy cocoa goodness of my hot chocolate. I can’t feel, taste, hear, smell, or see anything in the future – that is all to be experienced when I reach there.

Even though life is uncertain, I know the future, no matter how it turns out, will also hold these opportunities for me to bask in the present. This brings me peace of mind, for which I am extremely grateful.

An imperfect new year.

I haven’t written for awhile. Well, I have tried to write but nothing seemed “good” enough to post. I have been experiencing a lot of self-doubt lately, wondering why I am doing this and who wants to read my words. I feel that if I don’t post something so amazing and life-changing that it isn’t worth posting at all. My perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking won again. But, I want to reclaim this blog. Kick my perfectionist habits, or at least continually practice doing so, by thinking less and doing more. Instead of carefully writing and re-writing, and then scrapping blog posts because I think they are not good enough, I am just going to write whatever is on my mind directly into the browser (not a word document as I did beforehand). I’m hoping this will give me that push to just hit publish and not worry about creating the most “perfect” post.

This may mean that in these new posts, my thoughts may not be as conclusive or organized, but what in life is? As I stated earlier, this blog isn’t a facade. It is meant to be raw and imperfect, because that is what unites us and forms that foundation of empathy and support. I have never really felt like I fit in, and I feel like it is because we are afraid to be our authentic selves. I have put on many masks at various times in my life in the hopes of earning that sense of belonging. Maybe everyone else is doing that too. I’ve felt like I had to always be “on”, that my life was a performance, rather than a continual practice.

Well, now I am shifting to the concept of my life as a practice, and by changing my mind-frame, hopefully I will give myself permission to be imperfect. I want to allow myself to just do, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes, rather than not doing at all because I am afraid of failing. I have held myself back from so much in life in the hopes to maintain my “perfect” performance. And I don’t want to do that any longer.