Changes: On Moving, Materialism, & Self-Care

Recently I moved into a new home. It was very sudden and everything worked well in my favor but I was reminded of how draining the process of moving can actually be. You begin to realize how many things you own when you move. How many boxes or totes of items you need to haul from one place to the next. Or what items hold more value to you compared to others. I questioned why I had collected things that I hardly used but set aside for a rainy day. 

This will not be my last move but it did give me a reason to recollect on purpose and meaning, something that author (who also holds a master of applied positive psychology) Emily Esfani Smith claims can help us achieve richer and more fulfilling lives in her book The Power of Meaning. To be clear I think everyone has their own individual perception on “things” or what makes them feel comfortable. When it comes to spaces. Mine just happens to align more so with aspects of minimalism and consciously consuming. 

sunset//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js


I realize that moving causes me to personally come to grips with what truly matters to me. It is not objects but the purpose they serve. This can mean letting go of what no longer serves me but lingers like ghosts hidden in the attic. 

In a way I am thankful for the experience because it did cause me to reevaluate. Therefore I am working on incorporating this year is prioritizing my time and schedule. The past month I discovered what bullet journaling was. I didn’t want to buy another agenda because I tend to use them and then forget them. Thankfully I still had an unused journal from my previous zero-waste office/back to school guide to use in place. I liked the open-spaced beauty that I wasn’t confined to limited space. I could fill in what I wanted (budgets, list of goals, list of meal planning) and since I use refillable/erasable pens I don’t have to worry about “errors”. I am also taking a cue from my beau and will use the calendar app on my laptop to fill in events, dates, and posting schedules. 

fox//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

But there is another entity I am going to incorporate: self-care. While this was on my mind in the beginning of the year and in first page of my bullet journal, the sudden move caused me to do what I do best: put myself last. Therefore I am going to think of ideas and routines that I can integrate in my calendars such as guided meditation, solo nights-in (complete with binging Gilmore Girls & pizza), art journals, or visiting somewhere in nature. Self-care means a lot to me because of vulnerability. When you have autoimmune issues it causes you to reflect and hit the brakes. But you need not have any condition to participate in self-care. Everyone should. You matter. Nourish yourself. 

Light-Chasers Manifesto: How To Defeat & Overcome Self Doubt

In my own life, I had never really addressed the unwelcome dance between “self doubt” & I. In my interactions with those around me (friends, colleagues, family members) I consistently saw the same sentiments of self doubt, of wanting to accomplish something – be it a goal, dream, desire, etc. There always seemed to be reasons for why not to do something, instead of a reverse mechanism of listing off all the ways that they could turn their wishes into reality.
There are plenty of reasons why people hit these “blocks” or obstacles. Sometimes it is internal or external criticism. Sometimes its other factors like finances, or perspective. We try to encourage others but when we find ourselves in that similar situation – fearful to accomplish something no matter how greatly we may desire it- we aren’t always very kind to ourselves.The intention is there but the spark needs igniting.
I personally dont believe in perfection (anymore). I like the idea of balance but balance takes self mastery, self discovery, and sometimes hard work. This year I want to address how I feel and attain what I desire. I realized roadmaps can be helpful and I complied a list of ways that could help silence self-doubt in order to sprout. What if we spent more time inspiring one another? What if we spent more time encouraging ourselves? This is the light-chases manifesto. This is chasing your own light and making it burn brighter. 

verses

1) Develop one (or more) mantra that applies to you or what you want to achieve. this could be something like “I am/will be successful”  or “I am deserving of what I wish to achhieve.” When you discover your own message, practice mantra meditation by repeating this to yourself. Then say it out loud. Yes out loud. I do this before I go to sleep with the lights off and my mind clear. I dont even think about the mantra I simply repeat it. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel conflicted of self-doubt – repeat to yourself and remember meditation isn’t about perfectionism, its meant to move you forward. Its meant to empower you. 
2) Kick self-doubt in the face. Whenever self doubt starts to appear or those feelings creep up simply reply with a “No.”  Counter those thoughts little by little. Even if it feels impossible or if something is telling you its not possible, discover that you don’t have to give in to someone else’s perception. 
3) Throwing yourself to the wind. Explore stream of consciousness options like journaling, coloring books, etc. The goal is so create something without expectations. Shake off the dust and get moving
4) Surround yourself with positive people or like-minded ones. I cannot stress how valuable this is. Seek people who will encourage your growth and goals, find a group (in your community or even online). Reach out to someone you admire and let them know. Never underestimate the power and potential of genuine camaraderie. 
5) Forget expectations. Its easy to look at others or different situations and needlessly compare ourselves and feel negative; as if we aren’t “achieving enough” – this thinking can set us back and make us lose that confidence. Instead release the concept of expectations and focus on what you want and how to attain it. The truth is that everything takes time and effort. Behind every picture of success is a story of how someone got there. Focus on the journey not the endpoint. “Decide to rise” a wonderful mantra from Danielle LaPorte with a great motivation piece on overcoming doubt (P.S. I am currently reading her book The Fire Starter Sessions and truly recommend it)
6) Plan. I used to avoid any kind of planning medium because I didn’t think it was necessary. However as the years passed and the busier I got I realized how easy it is to forget ideas, thoughts, and plans. By writing these down you create visual (and hopefully organized) outlines of keeping things on track while priming you to do something that day/week/month.
7) Step back and ask yourself what you want. Why are you not feeling motivated? Why is this doubt kicking in? Sometimes our paths & desires change – & this is truly okay. To better ourselves we have to be honest with ourselves and address what we want (or don’t want) in order to move forward.
8) Accept yourself. Once you accept who you are, what you want, and wish to do – you then gain a power and confidence with realizing your potential. The only happiness that matters is your own, when you act against what you really want, you can’t grow. “You’re freer than you think you are.”