In the Sound of Music, Maria says “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” and she couldn’t be more right. Every story needs a beginning. And when I was brainstorming blog posts (the ideas never stop swirling) I struggled to decide where to start. So here I am, and I thought I’d give you a bit of insight into the beginning of my mindfulness journey that has brought me to where I am today.
It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t quick. In fact, it’s still a work in progress.
Things started to shift for me when everything felt like it was going wrong. It was job difficulty after job difficulty, and boyfriend issue after boyfriend issue. The real kicker happened after I broke up with a guy who had tried to tell me who I needed to be; to go to the gym more, to “learn something new everyday” (not bad advice, but it was because he felt I wasn’t up on current events enough), who made me feel bad for obtaining my education from Queen’s, the list goes on…or so I perceived things…
When we broke up, I started to look inside. Were all of these problems continually happening to me (job, relationships, friends), or was something going on inside of me that was causing all the problems? Like everything else, I’d say the answer has a grey area (there are some good people doing not-so-good things out there). However, I realized I was internalizing everything. I was oversensitive to body issues (because I had issues with myself), I was hyper-reactive to conflict (because I didn’t know how to deal with conflict), and I knew I wasn’t happy about myself and my life as it was.
Something needed to give.
So, it did. I started picking up books that inspired me (from mindfulness to crystals), I began the act of meditation, and I really looked inside to what I wanted/needed/was feeling. As easy as it was to “blame” the other person, I realized the big issue here was me.
Can you relate? Are there lots of bad things going on in your life with lots of “bad people”? What’s your internal “mean girl” saying to you? How are you perceiving your every day life (don’t get me wrong, sometimes life DOES just “suck” too)? But the minute I started to change my mindset, by finding the things I needed to work on, was the minute things started to turn around for the better.
I’m going to spend weeks and months breaking things down blog post by blog post, but if you are thinking this is sounding familiar here are a few things I can recommend doing immediately:
- Pick up a good book. Google inspirational authors or ask a friend (personally, I love when Emma Mildon gives book suggestions on MindBodyGreen). Hunt down something that is going to open not only our mind but your heart. I had people really chirp me the first time I went into the “self help” section and the “new age” section of Chapters, but it was worth it.
- Have some quiet time. I used to hate being alone and it was because I really didn’t like the person I was spending time with. Now, I LOVE quiet time. It’s time when I get to check in with myself, ask myself the questions about how things are going with me right now, and write everything out in my journal. Quiet time is the best time, because you have the ability to listen to yourself.
- Be creative. This might sound clique and overused, but being creative is one of the best feelings in the world. You don’t have to be Picasso to paint, or Beethoven to make music; just find something that gives you an outlet and go for it. Your creative time is for you and only you, so find something that jives with you. 🙂
Keep in touch readers, and let me know what’s working for you and what isn’t. I’ve spent a lot of time searching and experimenting in my journey – and it’s all about listening to yourself. There are things that work for me and things that don’t, but I never shy away from something new and I encourage you to be open-minded too.