As I sit here and contemplate the way my life is, I do know I have so much to be grateful for. And most people would say that I am a pretty positive person. And outwardly, that is what I try to portray. But lately, most days that is a lie.
I am faking it. My inner thoughts swirling around are telling me stories and sending fear up and down my spine.
This shift in my mindset is mostly related to my current life phase. It is NOT untrue that when a woman goes through perimenopause or menopause that the hormonal imbalances, depletion of estrogen, hot flashes, brain fog can cause depression, the blues, and down right anger and frustration. I like having this as my excuse. It makes it easier for me to give in to the sadness, self loathing, and disgust. It makes it easier for me to wallow in it and not pull myself out of it. It makes it easier for me to use it against my loved ones. And although it is a thing and the excuse for my behavior, the way I am feeling and acting is not who I am, not deep down inside.
Not long ago (a short few months) I was feeling light as air. I was on top of the world. I was at the healthiest I have ever been and I found a way to be focused and mindful, to look at things though the lens of love. This gave me the most inner peace I have ever felt. Then almost overnight it changed. I really didn’t see it coming. I felt like all my nerve endings were exposed and everything caused an emotional reaction. And then I stopped doing the things that gave me that “on-top-of-the-world” feeling.
Ok, I didn’t stop completely. But I became inconsistent. I gave into the negative voices that I thought I was rid of. I allowed that to be my excuse to stop doing the things (that transformed me). Those things are so key to helping me feel my best, but I gave up (mostly). So what are these things?
- Eating Good Nutritious foods
- Exercise daily
- Meditation and Prayer
- Self-Affirmation, twice daily
- Writing in a Gratitude journal
- Helping others with their health and fitness
- Being Actively involved with people who will lift you up and help you reach your goals
After a huge (insert not proud moment) melt-down, I took a long look in the mirror. Once I got past the dark circles and wrinkles, I searched. I said to myself, “Where is the powerful woman, who is able to pull herself up by the bootstraps and persevere?” “Where is the girl who could laugh at herself and make others smile?” Where is the empowering girl messaging people to lift them up?” And as I looked closer, I could see that girl, in the distant buried deep within, screaming to get out.
Has there been a miracle solution and today I am happy, peaceful, and loving? No. But today was better than yesterday. How? I took a long hard look at the list above and started doing those things. DOing…not thinking about them, but doing them. Why? Well after reading (or listening to) 72 (maybe an exaggeration) motivational, personal development, self-help books…the consensus is this: You have to DO the things that will make your life (all of it) better (to live the best life you deserve). Yes…ACTION…not just thinking, wishing, reading, knowing, but DOING.
And today was just day one. There wasn’t any anthem or applause. I just told myself to act. The alarm went off, I got up, no hesitation. I sat in prayer for (I timed it) 5 minutes. Then I looked at myself (in my phone since I didn’t have a mirror downstairs) and told myself this: “You have a lot to offer. People love your positive messages and encouragement. People trust your expertise on health and fitness. You matter to a lot of people and help make their lives better.” Then, I wrote in my gratitude journal and pushed play for my workout and put 100% into the workout. I had planned and prepped my meals for the day, so that was easy to stick to (I pack my lunch). And each person I came in contact with (I am a teacher by profession, so I see a lot of teenagers), I made sure to smile, say “hello” or have a conversation that was positive. Honestly, it was a much better day than I have had in a while.
And although it would seem that “all is cured,” as I was driving home, I had those same negative thoughts in my head (triggered from not forgiving myself for my behavior the previous day). I walked in the house (no dinner wasn’t waiting for me nor was there a big bouquet of flowers), I went to the mud room and sat for a moment. I sat and said to myself, it’s ok and that if my husband can forgive me, I can too. I am a good wife and I am good enough. And the night went on. I checked in with some people that have asked for help with their health and fitness, and was going to get on a team call – but I missed the time change of the call. Now I could let the negative party start in my head, but I chose to just move on. I can’t change it, so the negative energy is wasted energy.
These are strategies that I use from a combination from the 72 (exaggeration, again) books I have read or listened to. It isn’t a magical system, but it does take action. I have to do the things. I have to put the strategies in action. And I have to do it again tomorrow…and the next day…and the next. I am not putting it off for next year. I have to do this today, right now. Because right now is all I have.