Alive at 25
Hello everyone! My August has been incredible, and I hope yours has too. Most people re-evaluate their life goals and ambitions, reflect on personal successes and failures, and embrace life change every New Year; however, I tend to mark my New Year on the month of my birthday. I'm not sure about you guys, but I find this time to be stressful at first, enjoyable in the process, and exciting at the end. As August is my birthday month, I have been busy reflecting, traveling, growing, and loving.
In this season of change I have been working on a lot, and have started to learn some valuable lessons of life. This year has been full of great memories, times of growth and change, heartbreak, and a drastic life and mind shift. Here are my 10 take aways and intended focus points for my 25th year.
- We are all created for a purpose. Everyone has been given strengths and weaknesses of which to recognize and utilize. Though I am not 100% confident in what my true calling or purpose is, I can recognize the traits that make me thrive in certain settings. I have a good idea of what my passions are, and those are what I am daily pursuing!
- Creating community around supporting each other and encouraging one another to pursue their passions is something very important to me. I have been working on letting go of and automating social media so I have more time available to connect with people in person. It warms my heart to spend time with genuine people, learning and growing together. A community helps you see the good in yourself, pursue your passions, support your dreams, and help in areas you seek growth. Through this process I can understand the areas I am not strong in, and support a friend who may have that gift!
- Patience is a practice. I know and realize that the work I complete today may not directly effect tomorrow, but it may have an impact on the next month. With pursuing a creative practice, immediate feedback via social media isn't always the healthiest pursuit. Rather, focusing on monthly and longer term goals with practice of patience everyday is key.
- Hard times, heartbreak, and dark seasons are intentional. In the moment, it is hard to face troubling times, but those moments help shape who we are. How we deal with the heartbreak helps shape us into the humans we are. Going through those times makes us stronger, and sometimes changing focus or direction could be the best thing for us. I have struggled through pain this year to come out on the other side stronger, more confident, and more intentional about how I spend the short time I have been given.
- Life everyday like its your last. If you don't like something, change it! Today is a gift, and we are meant to enjoy it. Keep in mind that change happens over time, and even though today might not be the best and it is hard, you are working for a better tomorrow. A lot of times expectations hold me back from completely enjoying the present moment, and I am working on letting go of any expectations I have about the future. Acceptance and positivity in the present moment is critical to living a joyful life.
- We are in constant pursuit of happiness, which is only a theory. Most of the time happiness can be created with the proper mindset. One could argue that true happiness is an expectation set by yourself- which often is not attainable. I have been working on changing my definition of happiness into pursuit of a healthy life balance. Just like my body creates balance through homeostasis, I must mentally remind myself of balance when reacting to situations.
- When practicing balance, one of the biggest things I am working on is slowing down, listening, and caring for myself better. I do really well in the fast-paced, on the go lifestyle and am recognizing that giving myself time to recharge my batteries doesn't come naturally or easily for me. But this time is incredibly important!! In order for me to continue serving other areas of my life, I am working on making quiet time a priority. This quiet time is allowing me to take better care of my body, mind, and spirit. Practicing the pause is very enlightening, and I remind myself daily of the need for it even when I want to be busy. For me, moments of pause have included activities such as journaling, yoga, and meditation. Guided meditations have allowed me to shift my mindset and come back to balance. They have helped me let go of the things I cannot control, and own the things that I can. Instead of feeling guilty for not being productive, I realize that this time is very productive and essential for my completion of other tasks later on in the day.
- I am learning that I am responsible for my health. My body is not going to completely take care of itself, I make decisions daily that effect my health. I am learning the importance of preparing food, slowing down to enjoy a meal, and taking care of my body through exercise. Pausing to enjoy a healthy meal is the best thing to experience! I am trying to keep this in mind with every food choice I am faced with, and still struggle with eating out of emotion rather than pursuit of nutrition. I am trying to embrace the idea of exercise as a means of enjoyment rather than necessary torture. Still in the baby stages of that one...
- One of the bigger things the pause has taught me is the importance of self love. I have recently realized I am insanely mean, ugly, hard, and negative toward myself. A friend gave me the wisdom of “If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, why in the world are you saying it to yourself?” A trick to start with is watching what we call ourselves. There are many instances where negative self talk begins, and if you change how you are addressing yourself it could change. Use a word like “honey”, “sweetie”, “handsome”, etc. An example would be feeling exhausted after a long day of work and having a long to-do list at home. Normally I would immediately start in on the things I have do do because they weren't accomplished the day before. Instead, when I get home I would say “Sweetie, you have worked so hard today and I am so proud of you! Make yourself a nice dinner and relax a while before you start thinking about the house. You've had a long day and need to rest.”
- I am learning how to love myself better through exploration of my spirit. I have been practicing discipline in reading the gospel, praying, and learning more about Christ. It is in Christ that I find my strength, joy, life, and love. I am able to love myself and love others better by learning more about how god loves me. I am able to let go of the past and of the future, so I can fully live in the present. By being still, listening, and observing I have seen many ways god is working in my life and am practicing patience for the future. I am incredibly thankful and overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounds me in every moment.
This time of growth is continuing, and I am about to be challenged with demands from many great opportunities I have been given. This year is going to be full of joyful perseverance! What are some things you have discovered recently, or are working toward yourself? I would love to hear more about the life experiences you are engaging, and how I can encourage you through this season!
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