I’ve been thinking a lot about faith lately.
What does it mean to have unwavering faith?
I often tell myself things like “everything will be okay” “the universe has your back” & “everything happens for a reason” during moments of anxiety. Telling myself these cliches along with other practices are helpful on tough days, but sometimes I wonder how strong my faith really is.
I question this because anytime I encounter a crisis (minor or major) I experience a familiar anxiety. I feel like if I truly believe I am fully supported, am I to face these times with calm or is it completely normal, no matter how strong your faith is to freak out from time to time?
This is for sure more of an existential crisis (which happens a lot for me), but either way I want to get stronger in my faith. One way that I reassure myself when I feel uneasy is to reflect on everything I’ve been through up until this point, sometimes I feel like I’ve lived multiple lives because I’ve had so many different experiences.
Above all I want to feel sure that I am on the right path and trust the messages I’m receiving from God without needing proof first.
I forgot to post yesterday, & I’m actively trying not to beat myself up about it. I’m just going to keep going.
Yesterday was the new moon in Leo, I did my moon rituals and I felt more energized this morning than I have in at least a week.
Insecure season 3 premiers tonight, and I’m feeling very excited about that. If you haven’t watched Insecure, you definitely should it’s funny, relatable, and they tackle a lot of societal topics all of us are faced with daily.
I’ve been practicing slow living in small ways recently. When I can, I wake up slowly and get out of bed when my body is ready. I sit on the couch to enjoy my daily cup of green tea, instead of gulping it down with breakfast or on the go. I’ve re-introduced long walks with my dog instead of 5 minutes spurts before I have to be out of the door. I even swung by the bark park at my apartment complex today.
Both of us are grateful for this new found commitment to slowness.
Slowing down, even in the smallest ways has shown me that there is more than enough time. There is enough time for you to pour into yourself, your relationships, and everything else you want to do.
It’s easy to get caught up in constantly being on the go, but there is so much beauty in living slowly.
So I’ve decided to give up junk food.
I do home visits for work, which makes it really easy to stop at fast food restaurants or gas stations and grab the absolute worse things to eat. I’ve gotten into a habit of getting french fries or potato chips when I’m out and about. Waffle fries and Chik-fil-a sauce happen to be my weakness, I also loooove hot Cheetos & anything sweet.
It never fails, the more often I eat junk food, the more often I can justify it to myself.
“If I have these chips I know I’m going to want something sweet after (grabs oatmeal cream pie); there’s no need to spend $3 on this small pint of ice cream when I can get the gallon for $2.”
I like to pride myself on being healthy and when it comes to meals, I eat high quality foods; but I have a weakness for terrible snacks in between. I like to allow wiggle room for cheat foods every once in a while, but the regularity in which I’ve allowed myself to eat things that aren’t actually food doesn’t sit well with me.
I am of the belief that the things we consume are energy and through eating certain things we are telling the universe what we desire in our lives. I never feel good about myself after leaving a drive thru and though the foods are good in the moment, I never feel good after I’m finished. While I think we should be able to enjoy guilty pleasures, it should be occasionally not a habitual pattern. Since I have fallen into that space, I’m cutting out all the bs, cold turkey (holds back tears). I really love potato chips y’all.
Hopefully this will transition into long term healthier snack choices.
If you have tips for picking up the yogurt instead of ice cream in the store, leave them in the comments below!
Thanks for reading day 8, see you tomorrow!
Practical tips for managing stress
We all have stress that comes up from time to time, it’s normal and there are many ways to deal with it. Stress can have a negative impact on our health and well being, so being able to manage and find ways to lessen stress in our lives is crucial. Below are some of the ways I have found to minimize the amount of overall stress I experience.
1. State your needs in the moment
This is something I struggle with, but the few times I actually had the courage to do it, I felt very empowered. Being able to say what you need in the moment strengthens your communication with others and prevents you from being upset and ruminating later. We often have the misconception that other people can read our minds, but that is not the case. No one is going to know what you’re thinking, feeling, or how to meet your needs if you don’t say it. Training myself to do this has been extremely beneficial and lessened moments of confusion about if I handled an interaction properly.
2. Have clear boundaries
If you want to be a healthy person you must have boundaries. Similar to the previous point, when you are clear about what is comfortable for you and what is not it results in clarity for all parties involved. I think oftentimes we aren’t vocal about our boundaries and allow them to be crossed, then get mad at other people for not knowing. You can not expect other people to uphold your boundaries. You have to 1. understand your personal boundaries and 2. be confident enough to enforce them with those around you.
3. Make time for yourself
Self care has become a trendy topic, while it’s great that it’s in the mainstream conversation it is important that we actually put it into practice. Let’s be real, it’s 2018 and we’re all busy. As adults, there are a lot of things to manage in our daily lives, which is not an easy task. For many of us, this automatically results in unhealthy eating, poor sleeping habits and just a general lack of me time. I think it’s natural for us to waver with self care when our schedules are hectic. The problem is doing so can be detrimental to our health. Not giving yourself time to rest, in whatever way you need to makes it harder for you to function optimally. No matter what, make sure you are penciling in time to sleep, take long baths, read, create, spend time with loved ones, get outside, do what you need to recharge regardless of how busy you are.
4. Develop healthy relationships
They say that you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. This makes the exchange of energy between us and those around us extremely important. Having strong relationships with people that think highly of you and want you to succeed (and vice versa) can have a positive impact on our daily lives. Sometimes when we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to lose track of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Having people around you that will be there to hold up the mirror and remind you of your greatness is crucial, because we all have those moments in life.
5. Be comfortable with the present
This might seem silly to some, but one of my goals for 2018 was “live in the moment”; which makes this tip one that I’m really focusing on in my own life. It is easy to feel as though we have not done or are not doing enough. I often find myself caught up in thinking about my potential and all the things I want to experience, and eventually overwhelm myself by getting stuck in my head. I am now making a conscious decision to not only be present, but be content with whatever the present is. I deal with things as they come and allow everything else to fall into place. Does that mean I never get anxious with thinking about a million things that have nothing to do with right now? Of course not I’m human, but now I have specific grounding activities I can do in those moments to bring myself back. I’m planning on doing a post about anxiety to give insight on some of these practices. An easy way to do it for yourself is to think of the times in your life that you are fully in the moment. When you have 3-5 activities, find ways that you can work them into your day and create reminders for when you’re having a moment of difficulty.
What are some of your go-to strategies for managing stress? Feel free to comment them below!
Tips for learning how to turn down the volume on external sources and listen to yourself
So we’re in the middle of January 2018, how are your resolutions going? Have you been increasing your fruit and veggie intake? Made it to the gym? Revisited that business plan you made back in December? Either way, consider this a friendly reminder to stick to whatever changes you wanted to make this year and be consistent, you will surprise yourself with how much you grow because of it.
Something that has been life changing for me is tuning into and learning to listen to my own instinct. Along your journey, situations will arise where you will be given advice and insight from family, friends, colleagues, etc. While most advice is well intentioned, it is not always what’s right for you. I am of the school of thought that you know what’s best for your life and you should follow what feels good.
With all that being said, I’m going to share what helped me get stronger in listening to my own voice.
- Minimize distractions
Whether its social media, an unhealthy relationship, a cluttered home, whatever, having too many things to pay attention to will make it harder to be in tune with self. If your attention is always focused externally, the intrinsic parts of you will be weakened. Some activities you can do to help with this: limit social media notifications on your phone, get rid of clothes/accessories you no longer wear, create a daily routine for yourself, think less is more with your schedule– don’t be busy for the sake of being busy. Think of other areas of your life where you spend a lot of time or energy without being refueled in any way. If there are any non essentials, figure out a way to cut out or limit these things in your life.
At least once a day, every day have quiet time, where its just you and your thoughts. This is so important, because your inner voice directly impacts the way you feel whether you’re aware of it or not. In this modern age, taking quiet time is probably low on most people’s lists, but its imperative, because it gives you insight on yourself. Making a conscious effort to pay more attention to my inner voice, showed me where I had flawed or negative thoughts about certain things. It also prompted me to understand where maladaptive thought patterns originated and work to heal parts of myself that had been hurting for years. A daily meditation practice is an awesome way to do this. I am in the process of creating content all about meditation, so be on the lookout for that!
3. Remember, nobody knows what they are doing
Personally, the most challenging aspect of trusting my instinct is wanting to listen to or follow those around me. Sometimes when looking at other people’s lives, it can seem like they know more than you or have things figured out, but no one really knows what they are doing. We are all figuring it out as we go, putting one foot in front of the other. Age, popularity, wealth, etc. does not mean someone knows more or better than you. There is no person that can tell you what is best for you, and no one that knows more about your life than you do. While I think it is great to consult others for advice, sometimes in doing so we neglect the power of our own instinct.
You already have all you need inside you, just pay attention.
Your deep sense of intuition and awareness is a beautiful gift, your ability to join others in their feelings is extremely precious and valuable. While all of this is wonderful, always remember; the ability to hold space for others’ energy is a gift, not an obligation. There is no situation that requires you to take on other people’s thoughts, feelings, or energy. You are not obligated to step into other people’s reality. As an empath your primary responsibility is you; it is important that you take care of yourself and protect your energy so that you don’t lose yourself in the midst of others.
- Personal Boundaries
Learn how to say no to things you know in your heart you don’t want to do. Be aware how much alone time you need to function optimally. Be clear about activities, conversations, people and places you will and won’t give energy to. Having clear boundaries is important for empaths because it lowers the chances of you being in vulnerable situations.
Create a personal mindfulness practice so that you become an observer of your own thoughts and feelings. It can be as simple as 5 minutes of quiet time, mental/emotional check ins with yourself throughout the day, or tuning in to your senses when you get a spare moment. Having a regular mindfulness practice makes it easier to determine your energy from someone else’s and will prevent you from being pulled into someone else’s world.
3. Follow your bliss
As cliche as it sounds, it is extremely important for empaths to know what soothes them. What activities calm you? Where do you go to reset and recharge? How do you return to your center? In these busy times, we all need time to come back to self. When you have busy days, weeks or months you need to have practices in place to bring you back to your calm, grounded self. Empaths are far more susceptible to taking on other people’s energy if we are tired or haven’t had enough time for ourselves. Create a plan for yourself with various activities you can do to reconnect with your core in those times of exhaustion. Some ideas for recharging activities include: herb or salt baths, hiking, swimming, spending time in nature, and quality sleep.
Do you have tips on protecting yourself as an empath? Feel free to share in the comments below!