Most of us are well acquainted with the term “spring cleaning”. It brings to mind an array of chores. Although I’m definitely a minimalist who likes a clean (fine, near sterile) living space, I firmly believe inanimate objects play second string to personal care. In other words, we as human beings, should come before the dirty dishes! We all know folks who take better care of their stuff, then they do of their most precious belonging, themselves!
Spring renewal for the self is essentially a yearly detox of what doesn’t serve our well-being. Well be working from our innermost selves outward. I encourage you to approach these challenges at your own pace. These are not easy, but I think anyone who is able to look at themselves this honestly and intensely and make changes, is a total warrior goddess (did you also just picture yourself dressed in goddess attire?). We’ll, be working from the inside out. So when you’re ready, grab a journal and let’s go!
Thoughts and Feelings
Our thoughts and feelings are the breeding ground for our speech and actions. Too often, I see trite quotes that advocate throwing every defense mechanism in the book at an upsetting feeling. This is the best way to ensure your wounds will not only never heal, but continually bleed out into your relationships with yourself and others. Isn’t that awful? Yet many live this way. You’ve got to feel it to heal it!
When an upsetting or negative feeling comes up, observe it, sit with it, work with it! All thoughts feelings exist for a valid reason. This doesn’t mean the thought itself is true, only that it’s there to tell us something about our experiences and beliefs, much of which are unconscious. At times these feelings are tough to navigate alone yet feel too personal to discuss with family and most of our friends. I believe this is why many attempt to escape these feelings by engaging in numbing behaviors (shopping, alcohol, pills, etc.).
There still exists somewhat of a stigma in seeking help for matters of the heart. I can’t tell you how many times people in my life have told me in nervous and hushed tones, “I’m seeing a therapist.” I was raised by a therapist so the idea of talking out one’s “stuff” with a neutral third party, be it a friend, coach, or therapist, is very much second nature to me. Personally, I trade life coaching sessions with a friend of mine who is also a coach. I also periodically check in with an analyst.
Something I’ve learned in terms of finding the right support is seek out what works for your belief system and personality. Both life coaches and therapists vary greatly in their approaches and schools of thought. Take time to thoroughly research and ask questions.
Were moving on to speech, and I’m about to go Buddhist( Fun fact about me: I have taken my Buddhist Precepts). Are you engaging in speech that is deceitful, abusive, or empty? How do you feel about abstaining from lying, gossiping, or meaningless chatter? If you’re like me, you don’t gossip, but you sure enjoy listening in! Well, folks, that is still participation.
The next time you’re about to speak check in with yourself: What are my intentions? Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Does it improve the silence?
Thoughts and speech give way to actions. As you go through your day, do you have good intentions? Is your behavior that of a person you’d admire, a person you’d espect?
Notice your habits and actions, are they reflective of self-love and respect? A great way to answer this question for yourself is to observe these habits and actions and ask yourself in the moment, “Would I (say, feed, do) this to someone I cared for? What can I do instead? There’s no need for an immediate overhaul. Choose one thing you’d like to add, subtract, or change.
Dinner is Served
How is your diet? Do you feel good about what you’re taking in? Whether you’re an omnivore, vegetarian, or paleo, one thing we can all agree on is we need to consume more whole plant foods!Nourishing meals can be found here.