HAPPY NEW YEAR, FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!!!!!!
Welcome back to the Running Mind Blog and Happy 2017! It is nice to reflect on the year and see how far we have come, or how much we have done, in just 365 days. I spent my New Years in Puerto Rico with my family and felt so much gratitude that we could be together. My boyfriend, Mike, also proposed to me on the beach at sunset, so romantic! I hope all of you had an anxiety-free holiday!
This is such an exciting time, yet I noticed I still really focus on stressors that don’t deserve so much of my energy. I was having some work stress because I am transitioning from nanny to full time yoga teacher and personal trainer/part time student can feel so chaotic, but I realized it really doesn’t have to. When we let our thoughts take over, feelings of helplessness sweep in and the situation continues to worsen in our minds, even though it hasn’t changed. We assign emotions and feelings to neutral events, which eventually cause suffering. I assigned emotions and feelings of anxiety, worthlessness, and weakness to a very normal life event of career transitioning. The event itself is neutral and I made it negative.
In the past, I would have stewed over the situation for weeks, letting my mind run 100 miles per hour and complaining to loved ones about horrible anxiety. Now that I have battled these sorts of behaviors for almost 20 years, I know intervention needs to happen before my physical body takes a beating. So, what did I do? I made a list of everything that defines me in one column: my personality traits, hobbies, loved ones, favorite things, dreams aspirations, and descriptions. In another column I wrote the change that was occurring (losing a stable nanny job and transitioning to become a FT Yoga teacher and wellness coach). This change did not alter or change anything I wrote down in the first column. The anxiety comes from being attached to things that are changing. The truth is that most things continue to change each day, month, year, and if we become attached to them (like a part time job or our body weight) we end up suffering once the change takes (or does not take) place. The exercise I did with the two columns reminds me to focus on the parts of myself that are unchanging: my love for friends and family, my compassionate personality and eagerness to help others, my smile, etc. These things are the essence of me and will always be there.
My story is an example of how a New Year’s resolution was formed. Don’t make resolutions so centered on transforming parts of yourself that are changing (if that makes sense). For example, if you want to lose weight for the New Year, maybe instead of just cutting out chocolate, you also decide to work on self-love or journal each day so that your emotions come out on paper. It is okay to have a physical resolution, but having a spiritual principle behind it may really help so that it feels like less of a burden, and more of a goal. If you are really determined and have had trouble in the past, try setting a SMART goal. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. If your resolution is to start running again, make a schedule of when you are going to run and for how long. Be honest with yourself and set paces and mileage that you know you can achieve. You can make any goal a SMART goal.
Because resolutions are a starting point to a new year, let’s make the change from being hard on ourselves, to being compassionate with ourselves. This is a time to restore ourselves, not beat ourselves up. This doesn’t mean slack off on your goals, but instead to find some real compassion for yourself while you’re working through these goals, so it feels like less of a demanding pain. You can do this in many different ways, like keeping a gratitude journal to find gratitude for yourself and the small steps you take each day towards the goal. You can also add extra time in your day just for yourself. Pencil yourself in. Remember that the changes we wish to make are neutral to begin with, but we are the ones who assign them positivity or negativity. Let’s keep those vibes positive! Start 2017 off with compassion for yourself and enjoy the process! Set resolutions that RESTORE you because you deserve it!
Peace to all,
(I am all lopsided in this photo because I was standing on a downward sloping cliff!) Be a Warrior not a worrier!