Have you ever had to make a really difficult choice, but you knew it was the right choice?
Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings, but honestly didn’t intend to?
Have you ever done something that very few people (if any at all) didn’t understand or want to accept?
I have. I’m sure most of you reading this have. And to be honest with you, that’s kind of a good thing. Because if you answered yes to any of these questions that means that at some point in your life you put yourself first, which can be an incredibly difficult thing to do!
If you are like me, you may have suffered from a disease I like to call “the Need to Please Disease.” You know, where you walk on eggshells, censor yourself unnecessarily, don’t say what you mean, and go waaaaaay above and beyond for others to the point where you are consistently “putting yourself out.” This disease is SERIOUS.
I dare say deadly.
Because every time you choose not to be authentically you or make the choices you know in your heart are best for you...you are killing a part of yourself. You are killing a part of your spirit.
NO ONE in your life will consistently put you first. I’m sorry to break the news to you, but it’s true. Not your mom, your husband, your BFF, or your favorite barista. This is actually a good thing because hopefully they are doing what I am advising you to do and putting themselves first. But this means that putting yourself first is not only a “good thing to do”, it’s a necessity! Everyone has their own agenda; everyone is attempting to live in a way that will bring them more happiness, security, peace, and love. In doing so, because we are all different and have different needs, they are truly unable to put you first.
So how does this relate to intention?
Whenever you do something that is meant to bring more happiness, security, peace, and love into your life, your intention is pure. You cannot achieve such positive outcomes if your intention is not pure. So if you make a choice that is right for you, but has a seemingly negative outcome for someone else, you have to remind yourself of your intention.
For example, let’s say you got invited to a good friend’s birthday party but cannot attend because you are a bit strapped financially and you promised yourself to “tighten your belt” this month...or you promised yourself you would get extra sleep this weekend because you have been working so hard...or you simply decide you need some more alone time in your life. It is very possible your friend might be upset about or feel offended by your choice, but you have to remind yourself your intention was NOT to offend...it was to honor a commitment you made to yourself. And there is never anything wrong with that.
When you focus on your intent versus what other people might be thinking or feeling about your actions, you have more confidence in yourself to keep living in a way that is congruent with your authentic self. Have you ever heard the old adage “What other people think about you is none of your business?” Honestly, it’s true.
All that truly matters is what YOU think of YOU.
I’m sure you’ve also heard the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Personally, I don’t find this idea to be true. Yes, it IS true that sometimes we intend for something good to happen and something bad happens and things don’t work out, but good and pure intentions can never lead you to "hell".
"Hell", in my opinion, is a state that is self-created by living in a way that isn’t in accordance with your beliefs, values, goals and dreams. It’s living your life according to what other people want or expect from you while never loving yourself enough to be true to yourself. THAT’S hell!
What I’m trying to say here is, even though people may not want to believe or accept your intention, YOUR INTENTION MATTERS. People may not always agree with your choices (and you need to accept this fact!), but they don’t have to...your choices are about you, not about them! As the wise Jen Sincero says in her brilliant book You Are A Badass, “You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.”
Keep your intentions pure, focus on living a life of love, beauty, compassion, peace, and joy, and you will never be headed down the wrong path. Your Intention Matters. YOU matter. Making the choices that are best for you Matters. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!
Having one of those “blah” days? One of those days where you don’t feel sad or upset per se...but you just feel unmotivated, irritable, and sluggish?
Personally...I’ve been having a bit of a “blah” month. You wouldn’t be able to tell unless you really sat down and talked to me, but there has been a bit of a dark cloud lingering over my head lately. Maybe you are like me and no one can really tell you are feeling low, but you are totally over this feeling and want to do something about it!
Amidst the many coping mechanisms I have tried, there is really only one that truly lifts my spirits and helps me to feel more like “me” again. It may seem silly, or even too simple, but it always works, and I feel confident it will work for you too! I want you to:
Listen to or read something that helps you learn more about YOU.
Yes, I want you to listen to a podcast, a meditation audio, or read a book that helps you get back in touch with the REAL you...the you you are at your core (which is NOT an unmotivated, irritable, and sluggish bump on a log!)
Trust me, I have drowned the day’s woes in a bottle of wine (or several beers), a 6-hour Breaking Bad marathon, or scrolling my Facebook news feed until I have reached last week’s updates….but none of those things actually make me feel better. They might bring me temporary relief, but once I am done with those activities the “blue” feeling comes back again.
The reason these activities are not long-lasting solutions is because they are only distractions, not activities that help you feel your feelings, address what’s going on, and move forward. Unfortunately, the only way to actually break through your blues is to address what’s causing them in the first place. (I know, I know...that is the last thing you want to hear right now, but bear with me!)
Take a minute to really sit and be with yourself. Be with your thoughts.
What has been going on lately that might be causing these not-so-sunshiney feelings? If that is too broad of a question, ask yourself:
-When I start feeling low, where am I? Home? Work? In the car? Some place else?
-Is there anyone I’ve been talking to lately I don’t usually talk to?
-What have I been watching, listening to, or reading lately?
-Have I done anything for myself lately, or have I just been doing things for others?
-How does my body feel? Am I achy? Tired? Feeling in general run-down?
Once you think you may have identified the main cause (or causes) of the problem, it will be a lot easier to address it!
-If you are feeling stressed about money you could do a meditation on abundance.
-If you are feeling anxiety about a relationship you could read an article or a book about building positive relationships.
-If you are in general feeling anxious about life you can listen to a podcast about how to create a positive mindset and get motivated.
If you are anything like me, you are only willing to sit with negative thoughts for a very limited time. You will binge watch shows, have a few extra drinks, and get lost in other people’s lives and issues...but only for so long.
YOU have to decide when you are done distracting yourself for temporary relief and when you are ready to truly move forward.
I’m not saying it’s always easy to make that choice, but I promise you the new and uplifting messages you will be filling your head with (from your book, video, audio, or podcast) will actually make you feel excited and energized! Why? Because personal growth material is ALL ABOUT YOU! And what’s everyone’s favorite subject?? THEMSELVES! That’s not narcissistic, it’s just the truth! ;-) So when you channel that self-focus into something that helps you grow as a person, you can’t help but feel a bit revitalized!
In general, we feel most alive when we are learning, growing, and/or creating something. Sadly, 6 hours of Breaking Bad has never helped me create something or grow as a person, and I have a sneaking suspicion it won’t do that for you either. But learning about a new way to become happier, healthier, wealthier, more peaceful, more patient, more loving, or more confident will always light a little bit of a fire under your behind and get you moving!
So, when you’re ready, stop distracting yourself and start loving on yourself!
Love yourself enough to come up with real solutions that will get you out of your funk and back to feeling fabulous. Because the bottom line is, you deserve to feel fabulous! And your fabulosity will spread and help others feel fabulous! As the wise woman Marianne Williamson once said, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” It’s so true. For better or worse, our attitude rubs off on others.
I am choosing to do the work to get out of my funk right now. Not just for me, but for you too. I hope very soon you are ready to do the same. You deserve it. <3