Just Do It: Choose Yourself

As I sit here, jobless, listening to the youthful tunes of Death Cab For Cutie, drinking a robust and flavorful wine, I am nothing but happy about the decision I made — I did it — I chose me. (Play the album below — if possible — while reading this post)

Boundaries. What do they mean to you and for you?

I read recently that boundaries are what make you who you are. This was a really confronting sentence for me, as I have never consciously acknowledged my boundaries, subsequently, questioning who I am at heart. Today I consciously made my first boundary!

After a long process of thought and conversation, I realized that working as a contracting coordinator did not give me back the energy that I put into it. I am not superwoman, and I’m relieved! Before this situation, I always thought of myself to be tough, and able to do whatever I put my heart to. I never considered that sometimes my heart doesn’t want to go down a certain road, and could reflect in mental and physical deterioration.

After going through a burnout, and being forced back to work with an accelerated reintegration program, I had a fall back. Over the course of this week, I was pressured to make decisions… quickly. The decision I made was to choose me, my happiness, and well being. I quit my job today, risking the possibility that I will not find another job that can afford my family’s current living situation. This risk, however, leaves me with the possibility to heal myself, and to find another job that gives me energy, rather than take it away.

So often, we make decisions based on what society expects from us, what we expect from us. But what we expect from ourselves cannot be valid if we truly don’t recognize our boundaries, thus knowing who we truly are and what is best for us.

Choose your boundaries. Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. Choose you.

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How To Bring Light To Winter

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(Photo: Abisko, Sweden by Allison Meekins)

Hibernation: We all do it to some extent during the cold winter months. Although it is nice to cozy up and binge watch your favorite Netflix series, there comes a point where you need to switch up your routine. It is difficult to find motivation during this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be such a struggle to gain some movement and mental light. Here is a short list of ways you can turn your frigid, dark winter into a bright, self-nurturing season!

  1. Daily yoga sequences. Start or end your day with a yoga program, even if it is in your own home! It is really important to maintain some sort of movement during these dark, frosty days. Yoga is a great solution to move at your own pace, and to get in touch with your mind and body. There are numerous yoga instructors that put their programs on YouTube to use free of charge, for example: Yoga With Adriene. If yoga is not particularly ‘your thing’, consider some other sort of rhythmic movement, such as jogging, swimming, skating, etc.
  2. Purchase a light therapy lamp. You can find some moderately priced devices online that can be shipped directly to your home. Spend 15 to 45 minutes in front of light therapy lamp while eating breakfast or while getting ready in the morning, and see brightened results! You can buy this well-reviewed, compact Lightphoria lamp off Amazon.
  3. Color mandalas. Bring some simplicity and color to your life, while creating your own masterpiece! You can purchase a mandala coloring book at your local bookstore or offline. You can also just print them directly from the internet if desired! Whether you use colored pencils, markers, crayons or paint, any medium provides the opportunity to bring color to something that began black and white. It naturally brings brightness to your darkened winters!
  4. Meditate. Find a guided meditation off of YouTube. There are a variety of free guided meditation modules on the internet, covering numerous specific subjects (i.e. 10 Minute Meditation For Positive Energy, Clearing Subconscious Negativity, Color Therapy Chakra Meditation for Balance and Alignment). One of my friend’s, Jikke, recommended to me Rainbow Meditation: Journey into Color Healing by Michaiel Bovenes, which has become my personal favorite.
  5. Take a walk while listening to upbeat music. Everything seems to move a bit slower in the winter months, sometimes including the music we listen to. Make an upbeat playlist for yourself that will bring you energy and motivation to go out and conquer the world! Whether it be Dance/ Electronic, Oldies, 90’s Pop, or Hip Hop, or whatever else may put a hop in your step, make sure each song ends with a bob of the head or a smile on your face… or even a really awesome dance move. Combining the elements of fresh air, movement, and motivational music, you can only be left with a more positive outlook. 8 Tracks is a great platform where you can create or discover such playlists.

One last thing to remember, as the rain continues to fall, and the skies remain grey, it is all TEMPORARY! Use this season as a time to reconnect with your inner-self, and to rejuvenate. Light comes from within!