Where are you in the shift? 

It’s back to school! And I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a shift. 

Seeing your kids or grandkids grow seemingly overnight from babies that crawl in your lap and can pour over a rock or a box for hours to mentally pinching yourself as you look them in the eye because they’re your height (or more) and have emotions, thoughts, ideas, schedules and independent “ways” of being can be SO overwhelming.

Seeing your parents change from being strong, your rock, your inspiration or your person to look up to shift into needing you to be the parent, the rock, the inspiration to get up, the one to make the decisions can be SO daunting.

Where did time go?
Sometimes I ask myself, why does it feel like I’m running to keep up with life and when I stop and look around, I see so much has changed? 

Maybe some things, people, places in your life have left, maybe your body has changed, maybe your routine has changed, maybe your wants/desires have changed, maybe your foods have changed, maybe your hormones have changed, maybe your energy has changed, maybe you’re needed over here now and no longer over there, or maybe you’ve taken care of everyone else but not yourself. 

1. Stop comparing yourself to others or your past. Comparison is truly the thief of the present. You aren’t going to be 20 ever again but you can bring elements of when you were 20 into the present. Stay up late watching movies, make out, turn up the music loud and dance, take a class out of your comfort zone, go on a mini roadtrip, get out of your house a go throw a football with someone, go to a high school game. A little guilt can be motivating, shame is not (not for yourself, your spouse, your pets, your kids, your co-workers or your bathroom scale). All shame does is make you hate a part of yourself that’s just doing the best it know’s how to keep you safe, happy, loved and connected- even if that also keeps you stuck, unhealthy, remorseful or disconnected. Instead, make friends with the part of you that feels stuck- find out what you fear if you don’t keep doing things this way. Hating your body won’t make you love it. Make one tiny shift in your day, a different meal or snack, a different activity, put the phone/iPad away and go watch the moon rise, grow your tribe, grow your connection to yourself, get your wild back.

2. Stop caring what other people think. I grew up knowing exactly what it meant to be “ladylike” a “good girl” and how to be “seen and not heard”. It’s taken me decades to realize the chains that had on my energy, my voice, my personality and how I showed up in the world. Not caring what other people think is not- be a mean, angry, raging, gross bear vomiting icky energy all over everyone you encounter. It is giving yourself permission to say “no” when you don’t want to do something without explaining yourself. Explanations are sometimes nice but are never a requirement, nor an expectation. Other people’s reactions are their’s, not yours. Stop making their feelings about you and what that means for you (will they approve, disapprove, will they stop being my friend, will they stop inviting me… etc.). If they choose to shift away from you, that’s a beautiful message from the Universe that you are meant for a better fit somewhere else. Let them have their feelings and give yourself permission to take up space with yours. P.S. you’ll stop resenting them and yourself.

3. Stop making food about whether you are “good” or “bad”. I used to tell myself, “ok, today I’m going to be good and only eat carrots and a tablespoon of fat free ranch and that’s all so I can lose weight”. And of course, “I was so bad last night, I had the most amazing desert!” And then the next day, try and do 3 cardio workouts to punish myself and burn it off. This pattern is a fear that we are taught very young to not trust our relationship with food because of decades of media and greedy agricultural industries shoving hundreds of “right” diets in our faces while living with a fast food restaurant on every block. Also, it stems from the story we tell ourselves about experiences in our lives- often we eat for comfort, connection, to people please, to celebrate, to grieve, to mark milestones, not because we’re hungry. I was a kid growing up in the 80’s where you were taught to be afraid of fat and eggs, you counted calories (a calorie from a cupcake does not do the same thing in your body as a calorie of broccoli), you drank Diet Coke and you put fake sweeteners (proven to cause cancer) in everything. There is no right diet for anyone except the one that is right for you. Your diet changes as you change. If you want to lose weight, get really real with yourself about why you’re eating how you are right now. Promise, it’s probably not about the food. And no matter what you eat, food is just food, the only person that gets to decide if you are good or bad, is you.

4. Stop living your life through others. Stop sitting and watching others “do” things whether its a tv show, social media, some friends you envy, some picture you saw of your neighbors vaca on Facebook, your hair stylists new remodeling project, your kids next big tournament, your co-workers promotion or your dog’s happiness running unabashedly at the dog park. DO. SOMETHING. If you feel envy or jealousy it’s not a bad thing! It’s a signal from your parts inside you that you’d like become that version of yourself too. It’s a big electric lightning bolt of hey you!!!! Join that class, apply for that job, plan that vacation, start that remodeling project, climb that mountain, write that book, try that new recipe, create that dinner party, run through the park with your friends like your dog 😁.

5. Decide what you want to feel guilty over. That’s right. Decide. You have power over you emotions. They are not in charge unless you let them. You are not the victim unless you decide to be. Feel the way you feel and then decide what you want to do with that. Guilt is expensive energy. It shows up in how you show up, your body, your smile, your sleep, your voice. As I’ve grown up more, I’ve realized I don’t want to feel guilty over something I did or said 27 years ago (or yesterday) to someone who may/may not remember. Replaying that over and over in my head doesn’t make it better, so why am I doing it? I wrote them a letter, I apologized (in person if possible), I forgave myself, I burnt the letter, I let the energy of it go. I’m not a “bad” person, I made a mistake and I have to tell myself I’m here having a human experience in a body. Maybe I had an off day of eating yesterday- so what? What do I want to tell myself about that? You’re stupid, bad, fat, you have no willpower, you need to exercise extra hard today to punish yourself (old me said all these things often)? Or, I’m choosing not to feel guilty about it, it was just a choice and it’s ok and today I’m going to decide if I want to choose something different. Gucci looks cute on you, guilt does not look cute on you.

6. Always have something in the future to look forward to. Nothing gets things done faster than an upcoming deadline (hey procrastinator- i see you 😍). And nothing makes us want to take care of ourselves, grow ourselves, feel accountable and accomplished like having something to look forward to. In our world, you can have everything in an instant (or at least 2 days). Although really nice and convenient, this kills a part of our human-ness to stay hungry. Hungry enough to put forth real, genuine effort, hungry enough to get excited, hungry enough to want something so bad you’ll choose to get off the couch, turn off the t.v., pay the money, buy the shoes, buy the ingredients, buy the paint, create the party, join the club, book the vacation, apply for the job, ask for that date. Nothing in nature isn’t striving. The bee’s, the flowers, the storms, the moon, the butterfly, the earthworm, the oceans are all working towards something and is always connected to something greater. There’s power in that and it’s in you too. What are you willing to show up for in your life?

7. Stop b.s.’ing yourself. Are you happy? Such a tough, blunt, overwhelming question I know. But it’s really not overwhelming. You already know the answer. If you aren’t happy, are you telling yourself you are just to stay comfortable, safe, stuck, or just to look like you “have it all together” or just to “not rock the boat”? If you’re waiting for your spouse, partner, boss, next promotion, next vacation to be the thing that unlocks your happiness- it’s not going to happen. Temporarily sure, long term, no. Is there conversations you aren’t having? Is there people you aren’t meeting? Are there activities you’re passing up? What makes you feel happy? What do you love about yourself? What do you do that fills your cup? What do you look back in your life and say, “I was happiest in my soul when….” And then how can you create that now? If you’re saying, “It’s impossible to have/do/be that…” then where can you open up one tiny door towards that? What’s the first step in showing up for your happiness? Anything is possible. Telling yourself your gonna start tomorrow/soon/when your ready is rooted in fear and expectations, doing (even though scary, hard, uncomfortable) creates shifts. Get out of your own way.

8. Get back to your roots. Before McDonald’s, before being able to buy flour at the store, before stores, before organized “town’s” our people roamed, hunted, labored, explored, climbed, gathered, soaked in the sun, bathed in the lakes and oceans, shared rituals, shared fire, shared music and lived differently. There are major benefits to the present like air conditioning, the grocery store, Uber, google, gps, clean hot or cold water at our fingertips, medical care and so much more. Having Type 1 Diabetes since I was almost 2 years old means if I was born 1000 years ago, I wouldn’t have lived to the age I am now so I am humbly grateful for modern medicine.

But we sell ourselves short of the human experience in our culture today.

We wear shoes all the time. Did you know we are the only species to have cut off our connection to the Earth. Take your shoes and socks off and go walk outside. Squish the grass and dirt in your toes, breathe. Let your feet connect you to this massive, moving, ebbing, flowing, changing Earth we all belong to.

Stop using antibacterial products. Anti bacterial means it kills bacteria- all of it. Even the good bacteria your body produces to fight infections, viruses, colds and all other imposters floating in our air today. Our ancestors did not have access to soap, clean, filtered running water or antibiotics and bombarding our houses and our kids with antibacterial fake products is not making you more healthy. Use essential oils or all natural products like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and salt and let your body rebuilt it’s own army.

Eat real food. Food that looks like it’s original form when it was grown. The more ingredients something has, the more you should leave it on the shelf at the store and walk away.

Take cold showers. I know, it seems impossible but it’s not and the benefits are extensive from reducing depression, weight loss, increased circulation, remission of cancers and tumors, helping your body fight infection and more. Take it slow, honor your body’s natural resistance and breathe trying for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Get off electronics. Turn your electronics off or on airplane mode when you sleep. Get as much non-direct natural light as you can in your day. When you get the notification about how much you’ve been on your phone over the week, soak that in and decide if you want to shift that. Reach for a book, go for a walk, move your body, create something… the Great Pyramids, Mesa Verde, the Mayan Empire, the Great Wall of China, the Spice Trade Route, the entire railroad system- all made without electronics. You can do great things without yours too.

9. Stop and be present. If you’re still reading, the moment you started is gone and now there’s this one, which will be gone soon too. Ask yourself daily if what you are doing you’d be willing to exchange ONE day of your life for it? Because you are exchanging one whole day of your life for it. Get in the moments. Get IN them like there’s no tomorrow, get in them like you love yourself, get in them like you can’t stand not to be. Choose experiences over things. Choose you over everyone else. Choose now because yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised. Choose to be worthy of this one incredible life of yours.

A strings of moments… all yours.

I want to know what resonates with you most about these? Do you have a favorite? Do you have one you have realized that’s not on the list? Where are you ready to shift? Hit reply and share what’s showing up for you.

Here’s to being the very best version of you, now.

The journey is the destination.
Thank you for being on this journey with me.