A Friendly Reminder

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A friendly reminder, to myself and my followers, that although life has felt overwhelming and busy I will continue to put myself first and accomplish my goals as I can. Though we may not have the abundance of time to dedicate to important aspects of our lives, they still mean a great deal to us.

Though we may feel sadness from the inability to put as much time and care into what we want, we still live and breathe and have the ability to change what is within our control. What is not within our control, we must exhale and let go of.

Be at peace with your soul. You are unique, there is no one else like you and that is your strength. Love yourself first and the rest will fall into place.

With love, friends – just breathe. ♥

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Reflection #6: Guilt

Guilt is such an interesting feeling. It can really change the way you look at and feel about life. Sometimes it can even affect the decisions you make. For me, guilt is something that creeps into my life daily. I am a dedicated person, I put my heart and soul into everything I do. Yet I let guilt control my life.

Right now I am in my third year of University and it’s been overwhelming to say the least. I try to accomplish coursework all day so that I have time to relax and have fun. But it never comes, the work never ends. It can get so overwhelming, the sheer volume of work to accomplish, that I find myself sitting on the floor. I stare into space and zone out. Sometimes I can’t move for 20 minutes. I feel immobilized. Eventually I force myself up and get back to work. It’s been a struggle.

I find myself longing to do simple things. I want to go visit my friends and family, read a book, write in my blog or even go for a walk. I have to ask myself: why is it like this? Why am I so hard on myself? Why do I pretend to have it all together and power through the day, just to do it all again tomorrow? It shouldn’t be so consuming. I enjoy what I am learning. When I graduate with my degree, no one will look at my grades. Why am I trying so hard?

It’s me. It’s who I am. I give it all and I never give up. I pretend I’m not weak. I don’t ask for help. I am a tyrant to my being, and no one knows it but me.

loveIt needs to stop. I know that my mind, body and soul are precious – but my actions don’t show it. I know I need to protect, encourage and love them. Why don’t I? I don’t have the answer, but I want to find a solution.

If you’re like me and sacrifice your wellness, telling yourself that it’s for the best or that you’ll take a break when you’re done… admit it. You never let yourself be done. At least not for long, then you throw yourself right back into the chaos.

This pattern feels impenetrable, but I don’t want to live this way. I want to enjoy every day. I want to embrace self-care. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore for craving it. I want to feel whole and satisfied. Not an empty shell that will crumble at the first setback. We can have this. We can be this. We deserve it. If we are just brave enough to let ourselves.

Try this with me? We don’t have to struggle. We don’t have to go it alone. No matter what your demons are, you deserve to be happy. Share your struggles, share your triumphs. We are in this together.

With love, friends.♥

Reflection #4: Time Flies

People say it all the time. Don’t let time pass you by, seize the day. We hear it from our grandparents, watch it in the movies and listen to it in songs – and do we listen?

This past year I have been trying to do a better job of living in the moment and being more aware of how I spend my time. I have so many ideas, dreams and goals to accomplish.. yet I still find myself squandering the time.

When I have spare time, I “waste” it by watching Netflix and playing on my cellphone. Sure, I get some things accomplished but then laziness kicks in. If I’m being truly honest, I’m doing okay and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Tell that to my internal INFJ voice, it’s the cause of my guilt and frustration over lost time.

Speaking of lost time, when I am busy it seems to just fly on by. As I check my calendar it’s suddenly a month later. I fall behind on my passions as life demands my attention. Then I feel remorse, I should be able to have time for both: work and pleasure.

I feel embarrassed. After my last reflection on physical health, I had hoped the next time I posted I would have had something of significance to share with you. I considered just ignoring my setback, but as my dear friend Elizabeth would say, “that’s life”. Why feel bad? I am not a bad person because my priorities changed for a few months. I can be myself, my goals are still the same. I still struggle and fight with my lack of motivation – and despite having nothing concrete to show for a new workout schedule, I have made some major progress in other areas.

My Life Since April:

April was a time consuming month, physically and mentally. With the help of my wonderful mother, we cleaned out the bedroom of my Amma who passed away in 2010 and the rest of my Afi’s house. My loving partner helped me wash, prime and paint the walls. I spent numerous evenings packing and moving my belongings two hours north, back to the the country where I grew up. A tenant took over my apartment and I was officially moved into my Afi’s by May!

Two days later, I jumped right into my online university courses. Having not been in school for a year I was quickly realizing how out of touch I was with my scholarly self. The coursework soon consumed my day-to-day life, leaving little time for fun or exercise. In my spare time, I travel the four hour round trip to and from my casual jobs in Winnipeg and Portage La Prairie. Travelling in the country between my parents, partner’s and Afi’s house to spend time with them while studying.

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It’s now June and I am beginning to gain a little more control in my life. A routine is coming together and I made space for a breather. In bed, with sporadic cellular service and no internet, writing this post which I will not get to upload until Friday. But.. it’s a beautiful breather in the country. The chilled, sweet smelling spring air floating in the window as the evening birds chirp bed time stories to their chicks. Frogs croaking in the distance with me feeling completely at ease in the countryside. I’m home again, for how long? Who knows. Tomorrow is a new day, and again I will strive to live in the moment for as long as possible, before I get swept up in the tornado that is life.

Live in the moment & make it beautiful;
Sweet dreams, friends. ♥

Reflection #3: Physical Health

Despite my love for junk food, I have always had an interest in leading a healthy life. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Over the past few weeks I have really been trying to get in touch with what that means to me. I decided (despite my anxiety) I would like to begin sharing those thoughts and experiences with you. I will begin with a summary of my physical life experience.

As early as I can remember I loved being active: running around the farm with my brothers and our imaginary games, participating in intramurals throughout elementary and middle school, after school basketball, curling, soccer and volleyball teams. I think I was even in jazz for a year or two. Apart from that, I was outside every chance I got.

After graduation came a year of university, three years in the workforce, two years of college. Never being exposed to “working out” in a gym, a few months into college I had a startling revelation. I had barely done any physical activity in the last four years! This honestly shocked me, how does this happen after a childhood so immersed in physical activity?

It made me feel sad and stupid. How could I let such an important part of my life disappear? Why didn’t I fight harder to make time for it? I suppose my priorities changed – as they do with many teenagers. This felt like a lame excuse to me.

Good news was, I could exercise whenever I wanted. I had to laugh at myself though. Twenty-two years old and I had never been to a gym with treadmills, weight benches and whatever all of those other crazy contraptions were. I had experienced all of my physical activities outside.

During my second semester of college I decided that I would take a yoga class once per week, in addition to my full time studies. I had always wanted to try it, a classmate accompanied me and.. It was great. I loved the quietness and focus it took. It was incredibly difficult, my legs and arms trembled and spasmed as I attempted to hold the poses. My face went red as I glanced around the room, worried someone would notice my inexperience and call me out. They never did.

That’s the beauty of yoga, you start where you’re at and progress as your body adapts. There is no right or wrong, just the persistence to not give up. Also, the added bonus of everyone focusing on themselves – not you! My competitive nature helped me catch on quickly and after a few classes my body welcomed the challenge. I think it missed exercise too. My favourite part of yoga was how awake and energetic my mind felt after each class. The 8 week program was soon over and I immersed myself in my studies, quickly forgetting about exercise.

Near the end of my third semester a couple friends invited me to come to the gym with them, a place foreign to me with mystical machines strategically placed in a huge room. It took a little getting used to, but it was a lot of fun with my friends and I felt great after every workout!

Unfortunately, school ended and I again found myself not exercising. I realized my physical activity was tied to interactions with friends. I bought a 3 month gym membership (hoping the financial burden would motivate me to use it daily). I did a pretty good job of sticking to my routine, and felt great after every workout! However, when my membership expired I couldn’t justify renewing it to spend a small fortune on exercises I could probably just do at home.

Long story short, I truly miss exercise when I abstain from it, and I ALWAYS feel great after a workout. So why the difficulty staying committed? Why is finding motivation such a struggle for me? Why do I let the day-to-day take over, instead of setting aside time for such a significant gift to my well-being? My INFJ self-improvement voice be thinking, “I will speak daggers to her”.

Expect some goals (and progress!) from me in the near future, the “voice” demands it.

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Do you lack motivation? Have you had a similar struggle? How is your physical health? Feel free to share your stories and make some goals with me! If you need help with that, check out my recent post: INFJ: Self-Improvement.

Be beautiful, be you. Shine on, friends. ♥