The power of starting fresh

23 November 2014

Following this post, the last couple months I've scrambled to keep my head afloat from demands at work and establish the remaining dissolved pieces of my life again.  I came across a quote that guided me back to a healthy resting point:

What if instead of solving your whole life, you just add additional good things.  One at a time.  Just let your pile of good things grow.

So I let myself find one good thing at a time, mostly through the way of books, to add back to my life.  After awhile, I realized each piece of my well-being had been tapped, and I was back to feeling at peace.  Below are two definitive improvements that I've made in each section of my life:

Improving myself emotionally

I've been really loving my working commute the last couple months.  The sun is always illuminating the morning mountains as I head into work.  And I follow the moonlit mountains back home.  I LOVE THE MOUNTAINS!!   But mostly because I have been listening to books on tape while I drive, and each time, it has reaffirmed who I am and who I want to be.

In The Seven Decisions, Andy Andrews talks about always having a group of selected people in your life that you watch their example and seek their wisdom.  He titles it: The Board of Directors.  I LOVE this idea.  Because it's like only heeding the voices of those that matter to you, and let the chatter of everyone else fall away.  Since then, I have created an image in my mind of a long conference table in a bright sunny room.  And everyone who sits at the conference table, with their bobbling smiley faces, are the people I trust most in the world.  Jesus Christ sits at the head and my closest friends sit down the sides.  When I'm driving, I go to this conference room setting and imagine telling my Board of Directors the complete candid version of my life.  Just by having them consciously selected and pictured in my mind, I feel their validation, guidance, and encouragement  constantly.  It has helped me be so much more courageous and well-aligned.

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown explains how our unhappiness is largely founded upon a contagious mentality that we are "never enough."  Before our feet even hit the floor in the morning, we have already listed ways we aren't enough - I didn't get enough sleep, I'm behind on this project at work, I need to be a better someone.  I am so guilty of this self-deprecation.  But if we flip our mindset to see how we are just enough in every regard, we will always feel satisfied and fulfilled.  I am a very thoughtful and caring lover.  I am enough of a worker and add exceptional value.  I am enough of a daughter and sister and have a great relationship with my family.  I am enough.  So I put a post-it note in my desk drawer of these statements, and every time I open it, I read through them.  I also added a quote on my desk as another reminder. 

Improving myself physically.

I desperately needed to jump back on the healthy train, as this sets me right quicker than anything else.  I used to spend my evenings running.  And when I say that like running took up the entire window of my night time, I speak honestly.  Because that's the luxury of being a fully fancy free lady. I'd get off work and just run and run for as long as I darned please.  And Saturday mornings, same deal.  I wouldn't plan my distances; I'd just go with my body, and my body LOVES to feel that healthy charge.  One morning, I woke up, put on my running shoes, and next thing I knew, I was coming home 22 miles and several hours later! Yeah, well, that's like a long lost dream.  Time and energy is not that rampant for me anymore. A couple days ago, I got all bundled up to go for a run, and I made it 3 houses down before turning around.  And as for my eating habits, equally down the drain.

So I made two conscious choices:  I became Paleo again, and I allotted specific time every day to exercise.

Becoming Paleo, I purchased two books to coach me in eating more whole, including food shopping, prepping, and recipes.  For my meals, I prepare ready-to-go breakfasts and lunches that I can quickly pack and head out the door, consisting of hardboiled eggs, fruit, salad, and fish.  And dinners I roast vegetables and cook some chicken and yams.

For exercise, I have resumed working out in the mornings, either running up the mountain, Jillian Michaels, or if I wake up really tired, going hard for two Pandora songs and then I'm done.  Additionally, a couple nights a week, I'll try for an evening run.  The feel of my body has drastically improved, and I feel much happier in my body.

Improving myself mentally

Anxiety is something that has always reared its head when I'm riding under a lot of pressure.  For me it looks like thinking in absolutes, harboring sadness about the past that's already been fully laid to rest, and chasing around so much worry about the future.  All culminating in distorted thoughts that really aren't reflective of the present.  And it most heavily happens at nighttime, which means sleep bears the toll.

I've tried a number of things over the years.  Including bits of meditation and yoga, researching and trying specific herbs (oat seed and ashwaganda), baths of lavendar and Epson Salt, and I've perfected meditative breathing, with The Healing Code as my saving guide.

Well recently, I gave another hard swing at maintaining control of my mind in difficult times.  I am working through two books that are really tying all these meditative and soothing efforts together.  The books are titled, Calming your Anxious Mind and The 8 Human Talents.  I am learning very strong skills of mindfulness, drawing myself out of the past and the future, and just letting everything flow through me in the present, establishing a calm feeling and relaxed attention in my body.  Additionally, I have given another shot at learning yoga, of which I just Pinterest videos and attempt in my bedroom. 

Improving myself spiritually

I decided to put a lot more focus on my Sundays.  Because I always feel soooo still and grounded on these days.  My thoughts make a lot more sense, and I feel far more settled.   So I have made two choices for improvement that will augment the effect of my Sunday's.

First, my visiting teachers have come to see me twice in the last several weeks.  They are so loving and inquisitive, and we've all opened up about our lives, joking how every time, it's like a therapy session for all of us.  They always make sure I'm doing okay and really seem to care about me.  I have recommitted to doing my visiting teaching and creating the same environment for the girls I teach.

Additionally, I decided to quietly read my scriptures before church, let the Spirit guide me all through the block and write it down. I love re-reading through my Sunday notes.

(my chapel.  sitting quietly alone after Relief Society to write out my thoughts)

Here's to newness, rebirth, starting fresh, being more whole.

Upward and onward,

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  2. "I've tried a number of things over the years. Including bits of meditation and yoga, and sleeping in other people's beds.":D love you!!! So glad you're doing so well!!

  3. this post is so uplifting! thanks for all the great book recommendations as well.

  4. Thanks for including me in your board of directors:) You have some great plans and goals. Good for you.