No “Right Way”

One thing that has been abundant in my life lately is the there is not a “Right Way” to take care of yourself.  Yes, sure there are guidelines by many institutions and schools of thought on how someone should take care of themselves.  However, I am a firm believer in listening to your body and it’s needs.  Just because something works for one person does not mean that it will work for you.

I have two amazing friends that have branched out and started their own company called “The Thrive Effect”.  These two amazing human beings are battling autoimmune diseases with an holistic approach to their care.  They believe in not only what is put into your body (whole foods, balanced nutrients and vitamins) but your mental and emotional well-being too.  These girls are wonderful, kind, and caring human beings and I can not wait to see what they accomplish and learn from them.  They started this journey because western medicine was not what they wanted to fill their bodies with.  They are on little to no medication and work to thrive with their diseases.  Is every day a picnic in the park?  NOPE, but they listen to what their body is telling them.  If they need modern medicine, sure use it!  If they need a day of rest, they take it.  They are working to build a community around this mindset and it’s truly an amazing feat!

I, myself, have had my own life lessons.  I do not have an autoimmune disease but I work very hard to listen to my body.  I see a chiropractor and I have for 10+ years, I see my PCP once a year for a physical, and I also practice a holistic approach to my life.

I focus on eating foods that will fuel my body, give it nutrients.  I take nutritional supplements with the knowledge that I do not take in as much as I should or could.  I have cut out a lot of processed sugar from my diet and I have quite literally trained myself to want water, fruits, and veggies.  I very rarely binge eat anymore and if I do I have a portion and then most often don’t want it again for a six months to a year.

I am not saying The Thrive Effect girls or myself have it all put together.  We don’t, I know we don’t, but we listen to what our bodies need.  Am I saying that I deny myself if I want McDonald’s? Nope! Do I feel guilty if I want ice cream? Nope! I recognize that it’s okay and it’s not the “wrong way” to provide for my body if I enjoy those things.

I also make sure I try and take the time to recognize what is good for myself.  I was working out three times a week over the last six months, in the last few weeks not only did I start a new job but my school semester started and I am now taking two classes on top of full time work, blogging, family, and my relationship.  I know many people do this type or workload in varying degrees and sometimes much more. However, for myself the balance wasn’t there to work out.  I allowed myself to let it go and I am focusing on my yoga practice.

My yoga practice helps me unwind and let go of the stresses.  I didn’t feel the need to wake up early or throw in the time at the end of the day to complete a workout that would drain any energy I had left.  Yoga helps my body unwind, relax, and recharge for the next items to come.

My mom has always said “There is no right or wrong way, there is only the way that is best for you.”  As you finish reading this please take that thought with you, don’t think that what somebody else is doing is the right way and that you have to do it too.  Listen to your body, your wants and your needs.

The Thrive Effect:
Website: http://www.thrive-effect.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thethriveeffect
Instagram: @thethriveeffect

Instagram: @beyou_findyou
#beyoufindyou
Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com

Your Influencers

You know you’ve heard it from the adults in your life, let’s just count an adult anyone your parents age or older.

The friends you have, the people you spend your time with, make you who you are.

They help mold your ideals, your thoughts, your morals. I have had my own experiences as well as witnessed people I grew up with influenced by people around them. Now, if you are reading this and saying to yourself “I’m not influenced by any one,” good for you!  I ask you to just keep reading anyway, or you can just stop here, it’s up to you I won’t be offended.

When we are kids your family is your influential group. My parents influenced me to enjoy classical music, especially Andrea Bocelli. My mother influenced me to enjoy cooking. My dad has had me on a computer since I can remember, so his influence has helped me to be fluent on a computer much earlier on than most.  My sister influenced my ideals of friendship and was my first friend.  I won’t say there weren’t times I wish I didn’t have a sister but more often than not I remember pointing out that she was my sister and being proud.  I wasn’t someone who disliked having a sister and was never ashamed to say she was mine. 

As I got older my friends also became influences on my life. They influenced me to swear, they influenced me to lie to my parents, which was never successful by the way. They influenced me to judge people, most of all judge myself.

I judged myself every morning, before I would let them judge me. I beat myself up before they could. I can pinpoint when I started to really have self-image issues in fifth grade. I had cut my hair incredibly short, so I got called “mushroom head,” at that age you think no big deal they’re just kids.  Those words though have lasted to this day, since then I have cut my hair just as short twice, until most recently.  While writing this over the last year, I cut my hair down to a pixie cut.  I had been debating it for a year and then decided Memorial Day weekend that I’d call my hairdresser and if she had an appointment that day I’d do it and guess what…SHE DID!  It was a HUGE change and with curly hair I looked entirely different from those other girls who had pixie cuts.  It has been a test of my self confidence and has been a whole new learning curve the whole time.  It took me almost twenty years to feel comfortable again in my own skin and with my own identity to cut all of my hair off.

Learning to love myself again “without” the hair that has defined me for so long has been thrilling and scary.

Throughout my life and especially during this phase of short hair, my self-confidence has wavered from okay to down right gross, always comparing myself to other girls. At one point, when I was younger I felt so gross, so low, so poorly about myself that I thought cutting myself would cause relief. It did not, but it happened because of media influences as well as the people I had around me.  I saw others around me handling their anger, sadness, and depression in that way and thought, “Why not try it?”.  After that I was incredibly ashamed and swore I would never do it again.  I realized that self harm, physical self harm, did nothing except hurt and gave me a physical reminder of the low point in my life.  Why would I want a reminder of that?  Why would I want a reminder of a really low point instead of having a reminder of something happy?  Now don’t get me wrong, there are many I know who have these scars and look at them as growing pains, they went thru something and made it out the other side.  

**In no way am I stating that self harm is okay or acceptable to deal with things that are going on in your life.**

I am merely acknowledging that it happens to many whether it be cutting, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, eating disorders and any other type of harm one can cause to oneself.  I recognize it occurs as something that we feel we can “control” but many times I have seen where it ends up controlling someone.

As I’ve gotten older, I have begun to recognize and see when people influence my thoughts. In college, a few people I spent time with, were incredibly judgmental of others and I began judging people again. I felt gross when I did it, I knew it wasn’t right and I knew it wasn’t nice.  I didn’t like how I felt when I did it because again, I then began to judge myself.  I won’t lie, it’s sadly human nature to judge however, I now choose to fill my life with people who choose to be understanding and acknowledge no human being is perfect. I work very hard to give people the benefit of the doubt and to not judge them on how they look, how they dress, how they talk, or how they act.  

People around us influence our thoughts, actions, and emotions in many different ways.  If you continue to fill your tribe, support system, group, friends etc. with people who are constantly in fear, doubt, shame, sadness, nervousness, and negativity most often that is what you begin to feel like.  If you surround yourself with people who admit their faults, honest, kind, happy, positive, accepting; you find yourself reflecting those things back and living your life a bit differently

As Thumper said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

Try it, give yourself a month, look at your friends and see who has a good outlook on life versus the one’s who are a bit more negative. Try spending a week solely with the friends who have a good outlook, then spend a week with the friends who are a bit more down. How do you feel? What are your thoughts like? Are you happier with one over the other? If you can’t tell after a month give it a little longer.

You do not HAVE to do this, it’s food for thought. It is to get you to think, if you can change how you think about yourself by who you spend time around shouldn’t you try it?  If you’ve had your own experiences like this share them with me!

Instagram: @beyou_findyou
#beyoufindyou
Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com

Choose Yourself

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” ~Mandy Hale

This quote sums up everything that has been brought to my attention as of late.  I have had a lot going on in my life and this reminder has just kept reoccurring in different forms.  This may be posts I see on Social Media, the news, articles I read, or just people sharing their experiences as of late.  There is a large common theme of “Focus on yourself, what makes you happy, figure it out and it will all work out how it is supposed to.”

I have spent a lot of time pondering:

What do I want to do?
What makes me happy?
What people do I want in my life?

The largest part though, trying to focus on choosing and putting myself first because ultimately my well-being, whether it is emotional, mental, or physical, is the most important thing.  It can be difficult to put yourself first as others may see it as you being selfish.  No offense to men, but as women we are expected to be able to balance every one and every thing.  Whether this is said verbally or not, it is implied in different conversations or actions.  With this in mind it becomes very hard to put ourselves first. To be quite honest, I think both men and women have varying degrees of this roll built into our brains.  I think women hold the roll in their head much more often and that’s where the stereotype lies.

I admit I myself fall into this mindset and put myself into that stereotype.  It’s frustrating because despite knowing that we are putting ourselves there we still do it.

I have a difficult time stating my needs or wants in a relationship or even admitting to myself what I need.  Most recently I had a realization that I need to be okay with independence.  I need to not be afraid of wanting to do things on my own or be afraid of upsetting someone by stating “I’d rather do this solo”.  This is hard for me as I am an individual who likes doing things with others as I like to share in the memories.  I also like to find common ground with others and have something that we enjoy doing together.  I am also a HUGE people pleaser.

Now as an individual you may struggle with saying “No” to work, family, friends, significant others, anyone and anything.  You may be known as the person people rely on for things such as help, shoulder to lean on, trading schedules, picking up the slack on a project, etc.  While this is all well and good there comes a time when you can say “No” and if they get mad at you after you do then can ask yourself “Are they really someone healthy to keep in my life?”

I have had to ask myself this question when I have had friends, colleagues, and family act in this way.  I also then look at myself, metaphorically but yes in the actual mirror sometimes, and ask myself what am I doing?  I ask this because they are only coming to me because I have allowed it to happen.  I have said yes every time without putting myself first.  Doing so, thinking that if I did otherwise I would be disappointing someone.

At the end of the day you hurt and disappoint yourself when not doing what is best for you.  Now, I do understand there are times when the right answer may be what is best for the other individual, these situations DO happen.  However, at the end of the day if you are not satisfied with yourself and your choices isn’t it worth it to look at them?

It’s tough sometimes to recognize when we stop choosing ourselves or putting our-self first.  It most often is recognized when we are deadbeat tired, we get angry quickly, we start feeling bad for ourselves, or we start resenting some one or some thing.  When we start wondering why our life sucks?  Why do other people seem so happy?

(I know you know what I’m talking about)

When this begins happening it’s my reality check.  I start asking myself those three questions I started with:

What makes me happy?
What do I want to do?

What people do I want in my life?

Then I start doing things for myself again, even if it just means I sit with myself, a cup of coffee, on my porch in the morning to start my day.  By that simple act I’ve taken time for myself to be with my own thoughts and begin thinking happy thoughts.  By that small act I choose myself, by that simple act I can begin working to choose myself more often.  I am not saying I’m perfect at it, clearly I’ve needed the reminder lately.  However, the more I practice that the more I can improve on choosing myself and putting myself first.

Instagram: @beyoufindyou
#beyoufindyou
Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com