“The only one thing I can change is myself, but sometimes that makes all of the difference.” – Anonymous
“Just as you would not neglect seeds that you planted with the hope that they will bear vegetables and fruits and flowers, so you must attend to and nourish the garden of your becoming.” – Jean Houston
Over the last few weeks I’ve started to notice some changes in myself. Things I’ve been feeling, things I’ve been doing (or not doing). Here are some examples: I’ve been feeling anxious and stressed. I feel busy, busy, busy. My apartment is a mess…and continues to grow messier. I have no money. I have no time. My pants are starting to feel tight. I haven’t been giving my cat his meds every night…or taking all of mine. I’ve just been feeling negative and getting frustrated more easily. Ugh.
I’ve been feeling off and I didn’t really know why. The thing that made me stop, take a step back and actually take a good look at myself happened a little over a week ago. I lost my glasses.
I have never lost my glasses. I always know where they are. I don’t wear them daily, but still – I don’t lose them. I went to get them though and they were no where to be found. I searched everywhere, high and low. I started to panic. I felt crazy…like I was losing my mind. My thoughts were all over the place. “I can’t afford new glasses.” …”I have NO money and I’m already always working!” “What am I going to do?” “How did this happen!”…”No wonder I can’t find them, my apartment is a mess”…”You suck at life!”…blah, blah..ahhh! On the outside I kept pretty calm, but on the inside was total chaos.
After a day or so of stressing and panicking about my stupid glasses, I finally had an “ah-ha” moment. This wasn’t about my glasses at all. Without realizing it, I had started to slip back into living on auto-pilot. Life got busy and I let myself get distracted. I was disconnected from myself, from that calm, peacefully place inside. I wasn’t present. I was anxious about the future, revisiting the past and worrying about this and that. My focus was everywhere but on myself!
Our outside world is a direct reflection of what is (or isn’t) going on inside of us.
Once I took the time to step back, I realized what my problem has been. I haven’t been taking time to connect with myself, to come home. I’ve been all over the place! My body has been going through all of the motions, but my mind has been elsewhere. Life is busy, I’ve felt overwhelmed and I started to let stuff go. I told myself that I don’t have the time. I haven’t been meditating. I’ve been eating junk food…often. (Way too often.) I haven’t been journaling. I haven’t been exercising everyday. I haven’t been cleaning my apartment. I haven’t taken the time to really connect with the people who matter most to me. Simply put: I haven’t been taking care of myself.
Those were all things that for the most part, I was doing on a daily basis. The benefits were showing up in my life in a big way! My apartment was clean, I lost weight and felt great, I had more energy, I was having more fun, I felt grounded and centered, my anxiety lessened, my relationships were improving, I felt organized and on top of my finances, etc. The list goes on and on!
By not taking time to check in with myself, to take care of myself, to really be there for myself and do these things that I know only benefit me…I became distracted and disconnected. My chaotic mind was starting to manifest itself in my life…my messy apartment and finances, my weight gain, feelings of lack of energy and time, losing my glasses, stress and anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, etc.
Now that I’m aware of the problem I am going to get back on track and do what I need to do to be there for myself. Eat right, exercise, medicate, clean my apartment, stop being lazy and making excuses, check in with myself, practice “coming home”…really take care of myself.
The universe sure has its subtle ways of taking care of us though. For me, this time, it was losing my glasses. It was losing them that made me take a step back and gain the insight that I needed to pull me out of my funk. I’m sure I knew what I needed to do all along, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness of life and get pulled away from that awareness that is inside of us. I just have to remember to slow down, connect with myself and do what I need to do to take care of me.
How can I expect to be the best me that I can be (for myself and every one around me) if I’m not showing up for myself in every way that I can?
Remember to check in with yourself. Notice what’s going on in your life; what’s happening, what’s not happening… not only on the outside, but also inside of you. Notice how you feel, what you want, what you need. Really take time to think about that and be honest with yourself. Think about how your thoughts, feelings and actions are reflected in your day-to-day life. How is what’s going on inside of you possibly affecting the world around you? If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, if your life is feeling a little out of control…try focusing your energy inward and investigate what’s going on there. Only you know the answer and only you know what you need!
Paying attention to the world around you and taking a look inside yourself…on a day-to-day basis, or even better…moment to moment basis…is the only way to figure it all out.