When we want change we often think to begin anew we need to have a concrete end to something else – a thing that often has no relation to the change we actually want to see happen. How many of us have waited until the following Monday before starting a diet? Or thought that we had to end a relationship in order to start fresh within ourselves? It doesn’t have to be this way, and I am going to tell you why using mindfulness to create a new beginning within yourself can and should be done even amidst times of stress and turmoil.
As this site grows and becomes a bigger part of what I have envisioned for the future, I feel myself being drawn more and more towards the ideals of mindfulness and personal growth. I started this site feeling completely lost and wanting some sort of creative outlet to give myself a voice. The more time I have had to reflect on myself and the hurdles I have had to face in my 30’s, the more I found practicing mindfulness has made more sense.
“what differentiates strength or courage with frailty or cowardliness is perseverance.”
Every day I try to be mindful of how I am feeling, how I am projecting myself and communicating, what it is I need versus what I want… and, of course, a few other things. I know I need to take time for myself, and I do realize I could practice self-care a bit more often than I currently do. Self-care is something I need to work on, but I feel like this wasn’t some sort of enlightening experience that hit me all at once and made me want to be the next Deepak Chopra or the next meditation guru. What actually happened was this: with each blog post I wrote I discovered something about myself that I wanted to change or at least develop. Not only that, but I received messages and comments from people who felt the same way. Yes, it is totally normal to have our shit days and our lows with our highs, but what differentiates strength or courage with frailty or cowardliness is PERSEVERANCE.
Getting through the rough times with our heads held high and our spirits unbroken is hard, but when even we are getting hit around the gills we carry on. Often, the harder battle is self-realization and confronting a part of ourselves we want to change. Where do we begin? How does this change happen?
I am believing more and more that mindfulness practice is the answer.
So what happens when you have a hurdle that seems impassable? What about anxiety, depression or a low self-esteem or low feeling of self-worth?
I can tell you anxiety is often, but not always, a precursor for depression and depression brings with it those low vibes. Most people who suffer from anxiety report bouts of depressive behavior and the feelings of negative self-image. I think it is completely normal for depression to kick in when daily life can feel like a struggle.
There is no shame in getting help for anxiety or depression or those general low feelings. Our society is full of people living in shadows because they are afraid of speaking about their struggles. If they only knew how many others were going through similar hardships I am sure the stigma surrounding this mental illness would collapse. This is not an “affliction” that affects the “weak minded.” It is our families and our friends.
“It is so much easier to climb out of a shallow hole, than a deep one.”
In my most recent post I mentioned how I have been having a bit of a rough go the past few weeks. Winters can be so tough, especially when you are living the “East Coast Lifestyle” here in Nova Scotia – which is months of little to no sun. It is weeks like this, when I haven’t been able to leave the house or have enough adult interaction, where my mental health starts to suffer. I can feel anxiety coming at me and trying to get me in its clutches. I know that if I let it take over, it can be a downward spiral. This is when I have realized it is more important than ever to change my internal dialogue from the depths of negativity to the highs of positive affirmations. It is so much easier to climb out of a shallow hole, than a deep one.
“I am enough.”
“I am more than enough.”
“I create my own __________ .” (destiny, future, path, etc)
There are so many different positive affirmations you can use. Yeah, I have heard saying the affirmations out loud is a more concrete way of getting the message across to ourselves, but I also believe just quietly reflecting on the phrase or using it as a mantra throughout the day is mindfulness practice enough to get you headed in the right direction.
Now, what do I mean by “Creating a New Beginning”?
I believe that each moment we choose to change our inner voice from one of negativity to one of positivity is a new beginning. Each moment has within itself the potential to bring a new start. You do not have to wait until Monday. You do not have to wait until the perfect moment or when the coast is clear. A new beginning for yourself can begin right now at this very moment. Using mindfulness as a tool for self exploration and evaluation is not a talent we are all born with – it takes practice, and the more we choose to envelop that moment with positivity we are choosing to renew ourselves. This is a choice. We choose to renew ourselves.
Yes, there may be some people in your life who remark that you, “seem different” or that you aren’t yourself. There may even be people who start turning away from you when you get to a point where your inner voice can not be talked down by negativity. These people have a journey all their own, but you can still love them because you are learning to love yourself too. When you open the door to understanding and loving yourself, it opens the floodgate of understanding and loving other people.
I have created a new Facebook group called Waking Up Thirty: The Wandering Tribe that is open to anyone 18 years and over. There we will be discussing all things mindfulness, self-development, self-love and whatever else is needed in order to lift each other up.
Click here to join the group and start exploring your own path to mindfulness and taking one more step towards loving yourself.
What are some ways you practice mindfulness? Do you have any positive affirmations to share? Comment below!
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