Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Summer of Mindful Positivity

It feels good to be back here, typing on this keyboard, sitting in silence with only my thoughts and words. So much has happened, so much growth, so much heartache, so much joy. I have been on a journey searching for my own peace and happiness for awhile now--even before I realized I was searching for it. It seems like life gets chaotic, your world shifts around in ways you would never expect and then all of a sudden you are left with these thoughts and emotions and cloudiness in your mind that your not sure when it started, where it came from, or how to clear it all away. Unsure of how to move forward without going back, but still wanting to feel like yourself again. That is where I've been for the last few months... in a cloud. It hasn't been raining very hard. It hasn't been a big thunderstorm. It has, however, been cloudy. My mind has been filled with fog, and I've tried my damnedest to find my way back to sunny skies and happy thoughts. It's never that simple is it? To just wish for things to be better without putting forth any real effort. To just hope that others understand how you feel and where you are coming from. To just whine in your internal dialogue about how no one understands because they aren't paying attention. Maybe they are paying attention, but all they see is the front and the walls you put up to protect them from your thoughts and feelings? Maybe they want to see the truth in your eyes, but you have fought so hard to keep it hidden from the world that they can't see it? Maybe they have been looking and still see you even when you can't see yourself anymore?

Let me rewind a little and catch you up a bit.

In January, I started my last semester of college, FINALLY. I was so excited to finally being "done". It has taken me 10 years, but I was on my way to soon being a college graduate. 2 hours before my the first class of the semester began I found out that I would be taking over as the acting GM of the restaurant. WOW! What an accomplishment... What an exciting thing for me and my career. My hard work was finally paying off and being recognized. I was excited and nervous and feeling lots of pressure. Then class started. My head was swirling with stress and excitement. This was the hardest class of my college career. Business Policy. It is the capstone for my business degree. It is basically a huge review of all of these classes a business student has taken throughout their collegiate journey and bringing it all full circle to show you how it all fits together in the "big picture." They do all this in 16 short weeks on the last semester of your senior year. The professor starts rambling about the course and explaining how it will all work, and I am exhausted just thinking about listening to him, let alone thinking about all the coursework necessary for this class. I am unsure for the first time in my life if I will be able to pass a class--not because of laziness or procrastination but simply because I do not know if I physically have the time or energy to devote to such a class. A few weeks later, I decide to withdraw from it. It was not an easy decision. I felt like a quitter. I felt like I should've been able to handle it and work and everything else, but I couldn't. I met with my adviser and had a new plan. I would continue taking my 2 online classes for the semester. I would still get to walk at graduation in May, but I would have to return and take that dreaded class over the summer in order to "really" graduate. My adviser was very encouraging. She told me something I'll never forget. She said, "We'd rather you graduate sane. It's not a failure. Take the time and stress off of yourself." I imagine while sitting in her office that the worry and stress were written all over my face. I am glad she felt compelled to show me compassion that day.

I finished the semester. Did well in my online classes. Walked across that stage as proud as can be with many of my friends and family present. It was a weird day. I was celebrating an accomplishment I have not yet achieved. I still had that one class to take. I was afraid to make a very big deal out of graduation day because I was unsure of what the future would hold this summer in that class. I found a new professor I have never had before, and I was taking it with someone I knew hoping that would help ease the pain of the class. The class began 4 weeks ago. I am halfway done. I am spending every Monday evening of June and July in this class. I was dreading it. I have come to enjoy it now. We were given an assignment for the 8 week class that is unlike any other business class assignment I have ever had. My professor calls the assignment a "Self-Leadership Change Project". There are guidelines but less than I am used to in typical business classes. A summary of the assignment is that you start a personal success or achievement program. You basically pick something you want to improve on during the duration of the class. For me I picked " Summer of Mindful Positivity". My journey I'd already been on finally had a name. I started a journal for myself to keep track of my thoughts along the way. I am already feeling more alive and like myself again. The sun is shining. I am more aware of my thoughts because I am choosing to be. I am focusing on my own self love rather than expecting to get that from other people. It is my responsibility to show myself love before I can expect to receive love from others. I am a very giving person and sometimes I forget to give to myself. That's what happened this spring. I was too focused on everything except for making time for myself and loving myself. I lost sight of that, and it has been an eyeopening and beautiful journey seeing myself in this true light again.

I want to share a few things about this project so far:

I am in the process of creating a daily routine to devote to myself. I have cleaned up a space in my house that I feel comfortable in. It is quiet. It is mine to sit and think and write and find peace in my thoughts. It is my place to declutter. I am working out how it all fits in my schedule, but this is important to me so I will make time for it, not excuses.

In my journal for this project I have made a list "Things that bring joy to my life, a smile to my face, and warmth to my heart". My next post will likely start with some items off that list that I feel comfortable sharing publicly.

I also have made a list of affirmations to read each day during my quiet time with myself. Little reminders to combat the chaos in my mind. Little positive thoughts to tell myself. A couple examples are: "I am growing more beautiful and luminous day by day." "My inner critic is transforming to be my inner cheerleader." "I am beautiful and accept myself for who I truly am." "I am discovering how wonderful I am." "I allow myself to feel worthy."

A quote from the assignment from my professor that spoke to me, "One way to help with this inclination of our natural selves is with every new day to think, say, and do something that humbles you to the core. Try to do this humbling thing in the service of others. Another suggestion is to be grateful for any good things that you have in your life."

A quote I found along my journey so far that speaks volumes to me, "I crave space. It charges my batteries. It helps me breathe. Being around people can be exhausting, because most of them love to take and barely know how to give. Except for a rare few."

Another quote I found that I believe is my motto in life (or at least one of them), "When God puts love and compassion in your heart toward someone, He's offering you an opportunity to make a difference in that person's life. You must learn to follow that love. Don't ignore it. Act on it. Somebody needs what you have."

So to all of you, welcome to my journey. I'm not promising it to be easy or to always be sunshine and rainbows, but it is my journey, my life, and I welcome any and all who are willing to partake in this positive energy I am trying my best to put out in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment