What if I said everything possible? For you. For me. For each and every one of us.
Big time life change.
Isn’t the idea alone already so incredibly intriguing that we would all be in, if there was a quick and easy way to reroute our existence and simply make the dreams we’ve had for years come true?
The stupid thing is most of us do not even try to reach for the stars.
Maybe we are not confident enough. Maybe we think we don’t deserve better. Maybe sometimes we actually did try but after failing once, twice or even more often never gathered the courage to go for our goals again.
After all, serious life change is a huge challenge and the older we get, i.e. the longer we have been following certain routines, the more difficult it seems to break with old behavior patterns.
There is a way. We can create and achieve whatever we set our mind on. There is just one thing we need to get right first.
We have to find our balance.
After that anything is possible!
I know this because I used to struggle with quite a lot of baggage: an eating disorder, depression, co-dependency and bacteriophobia. I was a complete mess, derailed on so many different levels and to make it even worse, I was engaged to a man who did not love me, but just the idea of the Stepford Wife he wanted to turn me into.
I definitely was the kind of girl who unconsciously believed she did not deserve better and the very thought of changing my life scared the shit out of me. But the day my fiancé wanted to take me to a wedding fair I panicked. I was about to bind myself to a guy who I knew was not my Mr. Right, who even reinforced all the negativity in my life instead of helping me get over it.
That day I realized that the life I was living was not the life I wanted to lead. I had to stop pretending things were ok when they were clearly not and, if I wanted them to become better, I had to start acting differently.
On every single level.
And this is what I did. It has not always been a walk in the park but once determined to change my life big time, I simply started to put one foot in front of the next. I got up when I stumbled, chose to not lose faith whenever I fell on my behind and when I needed a helping hand to hold onto, I went and grabbed one.
My goal was to finally find my balance—that desirable, peaceful state of mind which makes us strong and graceful—and then take it from there.
This is how I managed to find it:
Every single week I would ask myself: What is it that I want? What is the next thing I need to make me feel better?
I defined my relevant goal as exactly as possible, described and painted it in the brightest colours and then started visualizing:
What will I feel like? What will I look like? How exactly will things be different once I’ve accomplished my goal?
I dreamed big (still do!) and made my body shiver with anticipation.
Of course, change did not occur right away but I kept on telling myself: as long as I know exactly where I am headed, it doesn’t matter if I come across a detour or need to fix a flat tire on my way. I allowed myself to take it one step at a time and I kept on visualizing my finish line. Over and over again.
Once I knew where I was going it was time for internalization, i.e. programming my brain for success through positive power affirmations.
I made it a habit to repeatedly send out the same message so that, sooner or later, my entire system would accept it as true.
Think of it as a brilliant marketing strategy: Just like constant advertising will make us buy things, constant positive affirmations will make us achieve things.
Today I still start and end my day by saying my current goal out loud and repeating it throughout the day. I write it down, I print it out. I do whatever feels right. I have come to understand that our mind is a powerful tool. We just need to use it!
One of the things which helped me take a huge leap forward was a three day juice detox. I know it sounds incredible, but thoroughly getting rid of the toxins which had accumulated in my cells provided me with an energy I never thought I could feel.
All of a sudden, I was so alive! My mind was co clear! And I never, never wanted to get back to the dull and tired state I had been in for what seemed like all my life.
I detox my body and mind 3-4 times a year and this cleanse had been so powerful that I even went back to university to become an orthomolecular nutritionist.
A mindful and grateful view of life
Learning how to let go of the past and not to be worried about what is still to come was another incredibly liberating step I took .
Now a mindfulness coach, I am able to focus on what is happening today and I have also learned how to be grateful for what I have instead of complaining about what I’m still missing in my life.
Again, this took time and practice. But in case you would like to try it, you can start today:
Sit down on a park bench, breathe and simply take in what is happening around yourself without judging anyone or anything for a couple of minutes.
Once you feel comfortable with this, increase the amount of time you are solely focussing on the moment or on your breathing. Do this every day and, at some point, being mindful will become a second nature to you.
As to gratitude, this is what I do almost every night: I sit down on my couch in the evening and think about things that were positive or nice about my day. I note down everything that comes to mind in a gratitude diary, even if it is something as small as a comforting cup of tea.
Exercises like this do not seem spectacular. But regularly practicing mindfulness and gratitude puts our emotions back into perspective, reinstates our balance and takes us one big step further to creating a life we love.
Embracing the setbacks
My path to happiness included falling, stumbling and even going backwards.
Fighting against headwind is one of the hardest parts about change and I would be lying if I said there was never a day that I just wanted to give up.
But, you know, when you see a crying child because they have tripped over their own feet, you help them get up and tell them to try again.
You wipe away the tears and say that everything is going to be fine, that it is ok to sometimes land on your knees or buttocks.
It is ok for a child—and it is ok for you and me, too!
Just because we were all born to fail every now and then, it does not mean we are born failures.
Setbacks make us human and whatever it is we are trying to achieve, there will always be a time when we do not progress, run around in circles or even fall behind. The key to success, however, lies in the way we deal with the less fortunate chapters of our life.
When we stand strong and simply accept that the sky cannot always be blue, we can use the energy which would otherwise be waisted by worrying to fine-tune our goals.
We should never give up. Never lose sight of why we have started our journey in the first place.
If we keep on keeping on, we will cross our finish line and be even more proud of ourselves. And this actually takes me to the last step that has helped me a great deal in getting back on track:
I grew up with the idea that we always have to perform first before we are deserving. Deserving of praise, love, recognition, whatever.
Realizing and accepting that this is so fundamentally not true has been the biggest challenge for me, and I sometimes still have to remind myself that:
I am unique. I am loveable. I am capable and I am special. Not because I have achieved or done something great; simply because I am. Understanding this and putting ourselves first is the last but the most important piece of the balance puzzle.
I’m not talking about being egoistic or recommending we should always and only think of ourselves. But if we want to genuinely find our balance we have to make sure to satisfy of our needs, too!
Many people feel the constant urge to provide for and take care of each and everyone except themselves.
This is exhausting. It can be very frustrating if we do not get sufficient recognition in return. And it deprives us of the one thing we need in order to make all our dreams come true: our balance!
So, whatever it is we have in mind, whatever our ambitions are, I say: Let’s define them. Let’s visualize and internalize them. Let’s be mindful and grateful – even for our setbacks. And let’s never forget to love ourselves.
Because we all are extraordinary and we all deserve a life we love.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise