I chose 2018 as the year to implement some of my biggest personal goals: waking up at 5am (I’m on my fourth week and only missed my mark on a few of those days), meditating daily (tomorrow will mark 60 consecutive days and most often two or three times a day - I choose it over social media - self-care first, then I play online), doing yoga daily (106 days to date and I only missed 3 days in that time) - 12 rounds of sun salutations specifically because I don’t enjoy yoga but I want the benefits of it and doing this is great for the whole body and can be done quickly, thinking mostly in affirmations (I’d say I’m at about 60%), eating clean 80%-90% of the time (getting there), doing intermittent fasting daily (I truly enjoy it), going sugar-free (trying again - it’s day 3 and so far I've done 4 30-day sugar-free stints with success), and building a solid daily routine that I’ll actually stick to, to name a few. I have many more personal goals but for this year, these have been my focus. The rest will come.
It may seem like a lot even though I haven’t even mentioned the habits that are already solidly in place, but I’ve spent two decades attempting each one of these things at some point or another. Even multiple times, but not everything sticks. It’s not always the right time or the right fit depending on what’s happening in the current chapter of your life.
Since I was 20, I have had a very clear picture of what my ideal self, ideal body, ideal day, ideal financial picture and ideal life looked like. And since then, I’ve been doing what’s required of me inwardly to become the kind of person who could claim and realize these things.
For me, that meant peeling away many layers of insecurity, pain, distorted thinking, self-abuse, and habits that didn’t serve me. It meant releasing people from my life who didn’t add to it and adding new habits that were in my best interest.
It meant facing myself each and every day and doing the necessary and sometimes very difficult work of transmuting my deep pain and self-loathing into wisdom and healing.
Basically, my adult life has consisted of this. Immense inner work in order to be the person I knew I was meant to be, and to be able to create the kind of life I knew I was meant to live.
There was a lot I had to release and realign. Still more, but it doesn’t feel heavy at all. Things feel light and fun.
The way we think about life and ourselves has a direct correlation to our ability to live and express our highest potential, so we really do need to clean up the inside in order to have a great life and be the person we dream of being.
And for two decades, I’ve dreamed of doing the things I’m building habits for right now.
My current chapter of life allows me to focus more deeply on cultivating my daily rhythm because I have no interference. I work from home and have zero external commitments at the moment (apart from my daily walks or rides), and I no longer have a little one to raise so I have my days to manage as well or as poorly as I’d like.
My goal as always is to master my time, mind, focus and energy, and I improve these skills daily through practice, reading, audio books, experimenting and trying again each day.
At this stage of my life, I’m not rushing around like many adults may need to do when their endless responsibilities require them to. Children and families and partners and work really do take up a lot of our time and energy, and it’s not often that we put self-care as the priority when we’re just trying to get through day to day without falling apart at the seams. Cheers to those who have found balance with it all.
While I was raising my girl and going to college and university, and then writing my book and eventually building businesses, I didn’t feel I had the luxury of getting crafty with my daily routines because I was too busy to think beyond what needed my attention in that moment.
I would often pull all nighters just to work and create. I didn't always eat well. The muse was in charge of my life. She still is. But over the years I have gotten much better at taking care of myself in addition to honouring the muse.
It's true what they say. Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s essential. And the better I master the first hour or two of my day, the better I’m able to live out the rest of it. The more I fill up my own cup, the more I can share the overflow with others.
Guaranteed you’ve all heard that before. That we need to care for ourselves first to better care for others, but are you taking action to bring that wisdom to life? Are you living the beliefs that you hold true in your heart?
Knowing something is a lot different than doing something about that knowing.
I have known for many years that starting my days early would make me feel in charge of my destiny. I have known for many years that daily yoga would be beneficial for my body and spirit. I have known for many years that meditation would help to create space in my mind and help me to be less reactive and more intentional.
But knowing these things didn’t make me do them. Sure I would try, but it was always short-lived.
I don’t know specifically why this year is different than the others, or why I’m now able to do the things I was only dreaming about before, but I’d like to believe it’s because my inner work is paying off.
That maybe all my shitty self-talk of the past was continually sabotaging my future because who wants to self-care when you’re self-hating? Not me. And replacing those thoughts with better ones opened up greater potential in me that was being blocked by the lies I told myself.
Feeling unworthy and not good enough as we are is all too common and the greatest barrier to our greatness.
We can’t do, be, or have anything in life that we don’t feel worthy of doing, being or having. We can dream, sure, but if we don’t truly feel in our hearts that we deserve to have the things we want, then why would we allow ourselves to have them?
So the goal then is to do the necessary work to remove those inner blocks to the things that we want. Because those things want us, too. But they can’t get through our webs of unworthiness and misalignment.
And the fact that I gradually replaced those shitty inner tapes with more self-supportive ones over the years, and quickly get back on the horse after a relapse (because I still get stuck in the mud sometimes), means that the self-loving Mandy I’ve always aspired to be even when I didn’t know how, is becoming fully formed, bit by bit.
She has always existed inside of me and now she’s manifesting externally. And in her self-lovingness, she takes care of her days and her thoughts and her body and her heart.
The Mandy I always dreamed of being is turning into the reality that I’m living. And while I still have bigger and bolder dreams to be realized, I celebrate how far I’ve come from the woman I used to be, and I admire her greatly for taking all those steps and doing all that work so that I could be where I am today.
I’d love if you would thank and appreciate your past self (selves), too, because without all of those attempts and failures and all that pain and discomfort, you would not have had a thing to work towards and overcome in order to become the magnificent human that you are.
It only gets better. You always get better. You’ve come so far and you’ll go so much farther.
Hooray for a new day to become even more of who you are.
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