Oh how I love January. It truly is one of my most favorite months of the year because it holds so much promise and the hope of new beginnings. Though I do not partake in the annual setting of New Year’s resolutions (instead, I do a much more intentional and effective, self-audit process every year in July–you can read all about it here); I do always try to approach a new year with a set of guiding principles and practices that help to lay a firm foundation for the coming twelve months. After many years of defining and refining, these are the practices that I have found to be the most valuable…
Time and energy. Two of the most valuable resources that each one of us is blessed with every day. Though it is difficult to put a price tag on these two commodities, I would have to say that their value is far greater than most realize because, it is the proper application of these two resources that allows us to create an abundance of other blessings (money, fulfillment, success, significance, etc.) in our lives.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I’ve been struggling a bit with feeling as though I am constantly running out of time and energy when it comes to the pursuit of my meaningful goals.
Bless her heart. She was so sweet and offered me such a kind and sincere compliment. I didn’t mean to look incredulous–I really didn’t. It’s just that the compliment that she so generously paid me seemed so…well, crazy.
She approached me after I had given a presentation for a local business association and told me how much she admired how “together” my life was. She said that she had seen me a few other times at various functions and had read about me when I was recognized as one of twelve Colorado Women of Vision. She said that she was inspired by how upbeat, energetic and “with it” I was.
We did it! We survived the long, cold winter. We have emerged from our caves, shed our wool sweaters and are squinting our eyes as we blinkingly gaze at the bright, promising sunshine of spring.
Birds are chirping, trees are budding and baseball gloves are being dug out of the closet. Spring is here and with its longer days comes the fresh hope of new beginnings.
Still, as exhilarating as this fresh new season is, in order to truly harness the creative and rejuvenating energy of spring, we must first make sure that we have cleared the cobwebs and dust bunnies that have taken up residence over the winter months. Many of us use this time of year as an opportunity to “spring clean” our homes, but how many of us make an intentional effort to “spring clean” our psyches?
Back in October, I posted what has now become one of the most popular posts on FabYOUlous Life. That post was called The Joys of Masturdating and was all about the benefits found in spending time alone (you can read that post here). When I wrote that post, I immediately wrote another one that I meant to use as a follow up. However; other things surfaced and different posts took precedence. Now however; as I look back through my old drafts, I realize that the information from that original follow-up post is good and worth sharing.
The funny thing is–my living situation has completely changed since October. Back when this post was originally written, I had two young adult sons living in my house which meant that space in our home was at a premium. That all changed in February when my boys found a townhouse across town that they now share with a few of their friends. I’ve decided to leave my post the way that it was originally written however; because the entire premise of the post is about the importance of finding a sacred space of one’s own–even when space is limited. Yes–I now have two extra bedrooms which means that my office and guest bedroom no longer have to share the same room, but even if extra space is not currently a possibility for you, you can still create a special place that is all your own and doing so can make such an incredible difference in your life.
Here’s my original post…
This morning I sat across the table from my husband at IHOP as we worked on our crossword puzzle and gobbled down our pancakes while chatting about our kids, work and the upcoming MLB season (go Yankees!). There was nothing particularly extraordinary about this morning because this pancake gobbling, crossword puzzling routine is one that we engage in nearly every weekend; and yet, today, in the midst of the normalcy of our Saturday morning, I was suddenly hit with a wave of emotion that, were I not in the middle of a busy IHOP and worried about looking like a lunatic, would have brought me to tears. I was suddenly overcome with feelings of such peace, joy, love, gratitude and overall well being that I almost couldn’t breathe for fear of losing the moment. This, I thought to myself, is what contentment feels like.
There is a song by American punk rock band, Pennywise called “You Get the Life You Choose”. Don’t ask me how I know this–I just do (besides, those of you who know me well already know that I have questionable taste in music–ha!)
While some would see this song title as negative (because we want the life that we want right?), I love the empowering notion that we get to live the life of our choosing. This is a message that was drilled into my head on a daily basis back when I was in treatment for Anorexia and working to put my life back together after escaping an incredibly toxic marriage. My therapist told me repeatedly that our lives are the results of the choices we make. If we want better lives, we absolutely had to make better choices. This sounds so simple doesn’t it? Want a good life? Okay then–make good choices. Easy enough right?
The past, present and future walked into a bar…it was tense
HAHAHA! My degree is in English so this is probably my all-time favorite joke. Seriously, if you don’t find it funny, I just don’t know what to say about that. What’s not a joke however is the way in which too many of us allow the trials and traumas of our pasts to rob us of our joy in the present and our dreams and aspirations for the future.
If you’ve studied any philosophy in high school or college, you’ve no doubt heard of The Socratic Method. It is a form of inquiry (named after the classical Greek philosopher, Socrates) that is based upon asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been one to ask a lot of questions. I’m sure that this sometimes annoyed my parents and exasperated my teachers, but asking questions is how I learned to satisfy my curiosity about the many interesting things in the world around me. Once I was in college however; my academic advisor taught me the value of asking questions in order to gain understanding not just of the world around me, but also of the things that were going on inside of me.