the journey continues…january

I started this new year with a focus on noticing, embracing, shifting and releasing.

2017 was a big year for me…I married my guy and he is the best partner I could have dreamed up. Our relationship has given me a foundation I never thought possible…or necessary. I truly didn’t understand the solidity I had been missing until I felt myself on solid ground for the first time.

We spent a lot of time planning our wedding which brought a lot of feelings to the surface that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I also realized that if I wanted to find my purpose, I needed to work on it instead of waiting for it to be revealed.

To that end, I started my studies to become a health coach, I started getting back in touch with my body, I opened up to creative outlets…and I talked a lot about the changes I wanted to make, but wasn’t always successful on implementing or following through.

Heading into 2018, I felt a shift and I knew it was time…so here I am. Writing it down to help with accountability.

This January, like a lot of other people, I have decided to release alcohol. I tell most people that I am having a “dry” january. but the reality is a bit more complicated than that – and that’s what led me to the idea of “releasing.”

I LOVE drinking: a glass of wine after work, a beer on a hot summer day, or a tequila when I’m out on a Friday night…or a Tuesday. I love the taste of alcohol, I love the ritual of drinking, the shared experience and the way I’ve always felt that it melted away my stress. My social media feeds reinforce this: stressful days involve alcohol, our jobs drive us to have a cocktail or three after work, parenthood seemingly cannot be handled without free flowing wine at all times. Everyone seems to be working or waiting for the next cocktail. Myself included.

I’m also a bit of a shy person and so I’ve always used alcohol as a way to help me break the ice, or at least feel comfortable enough to break the ice.

The past few years I’ve noticed a physical shift in how my body processes alcohol: blinding headaches in the morning, terrible hangovers, waking up feeling more intoxicated than when I went to bed, memory issues. I’ve also been more cognizant over the past few years of how I act when I’m drinking: I either have zero impulse control and go along for whatever is happening or I’m super irritable and start arguments.

Drinking has shifted from something I thought took away anxiety to something that creates anxiety. I’m always counting the drinks I’ve had, wondering if I should have that next glass of wine. “Am I feeling drunk? Have I eaten enough? Will I be hungover tomorrow?” I’m always replaying the night the next day “Did I say too much? Did I post a stupid picture? Was that argument justified?”

The mental space it takes up before, during and after became too much. And I finally decided that I was strong enough to act. That I can release alcohol and that that is okay.

Not that it’s that easy. My friends love to drink too and it’s a big part of hanging out…with family too. And if you’ve ever gone out and not had a drink with people who are drinking…there’s a lot of “Why aren’t you drinking?!” I think people think I’m judging them. And I’m not. I’m just judging myself and how I am when I drink…which is why I’m choosing something else right now.

I’m not sure what the something else is specifically but here’s what it’s been like so far:

-I’ve been mapping my 2018 – and being super intentional and careful about choosing where I want my energy to go.

-I’ve been spending more time on my health coaching curriculum – going beyond just the requisites and doing more research, spending time thinking about what direction I want to go in.

-I’ve been eating healthier. Spending more time preparing my food and putting more focus on healthy items. Researching more.

-I’ve been reigniting my physical outlets – in the midst of a 14 day yoga challenge, stretching, pilates classes. These help me feel stronger and open up my access points.

-I’ve been meditating more. Working towards having a daily practice.

-I’ve been falling asleep more easily and waking up earlier, more refreshed.

-I’ve been noticing how sugar affects me – and have been conscious not to swap in lots of sugar just because I’m not drinking.

-I’ve been spending more time on social media…which is not a good thing. But I’m noticing how much time I spend and trying to figure out if I can have a balanced social media life.

-I’ve been a little bit more tired than normal. And on Saturday night we went out (for the first time this year!) – and I didn’t drink. But the next morning I was super tired and low energy. And I wonder if there was some emotional release in there – being social without drinking. Or maybe I was just having a low energy day.

I’ll check in again at the end of the month and see how things are going…

xoxo

 

clearing

As I celebrate the New Year, I’m reflecting on the year that came to a close and looking forward to the vision for 2019. so many moments in 2018, new experiences, feelings, steps. welcoming so much heading into 2019…and in need of clearing out a few things. I’ll explore some of these more in-depth in future posts, but here’s the highlights:

WELCOMING

Motherhood – wowie zowie! this one is pretty incredible. I always knew I wanted to be a mother…since I was much younger, it’s been a calling for me, a deep sensation in my bones and my soul. I’m lucky that I found my incredible partners (my husband and my son) to go on this journey with.

Boundaries – I’ve been working on my boundaries, intentionally, since I first saw a therapist 13 years ago. I was so afraid of pain and getting hurt that I used to keep everyone and everything out – the good, the bad and the truly amazing. Once I started to construct healthy boundaries, I was able to welcome and experience more happiness…and handle the tough stuff with more grace. Motherhood is helping me review my boundaries again – taking a look at dusty old corners of my map that I hadn’t had to pay attention to in a while. There’s fortification that needs to be done…and a little softening too.

Stepping into my Power – this is, well, a powerful one for me. Part of my motherhood journey is realizing that I no longer want to be timid, afraid of what people will think of me, fearful of reactions and judgment. I want to be confident, because I know what’s best for my family – even though I won’t always get it perfect, my intuition has always been strong and it’s time to fully embrace and own that I am powerful and wise. Whether with my family, my decisions, my career – I have held back in many instances our of fear of judgment and failure, but no longer. In 2019, I am stepping into owning my life, my thoughts, my decisions, my career.

Abundance – A few years ago, I made a mindset shift into Abundance – I wouldn’t have named it that at the time, but looking back it’s exactly what I started welcoming into my life. I have reaped the incredible benefits of it. But like anyone, I still have moments of doubt, moments of fear of lack and so I am doubling up on welcoming abundance and living in abundance this year. Grateful for all I have and grateful for all the universe continues to provide me with. There is an unending stream of abundance available to us all…and I am swimming in it joyfully.

Meditation – I always feel better when I am in a consistent practice of meditation. This year, I am committed to finding the spaces where I can practice – some days this may only be a moment, but I will look for these spaces. When you look for openings, that is what you see…

Kindness – to myself and others. Be Kind. Always.

 

CLEARING OUT

Judgment – this is such a challenge! It is such a part of our culture and such a part of my family dynamic and friendship dynamics. But it is starting to affect me how much I have stood in judgment (and stand in judgment) of others. And now, as a new parent, seeing how much people judge our parenting choices is crazy. If I want to help fix this, I have to be the one to start. To this end, I’m working through Gabby Bernstein’s Judgment Detox. It’s helping me get curious about my judgments of myself and others, why I have them and how to heal them.

Negativity – another deep-rooted part of our culture, my family and friends. Whether it’s inappropriate words to describe people or situations or seeing the glass as half empty or just coming from a place of no…there’s a spotlight shining on negativity in my life these days. This pairs with judgment often – in the forms of negative gossip, nasty statements about others, etc. I know that, like judgment, negativity is often a projection of that person’s feelings of lack — so I am trying to find compassion in the moment for others and myself.

The Quitter Mentality – as i look back at 2018, this one came up all year for me in my thoughts and words. I listened to myself whine and complain and look for the failure option in many ways. whether my commute to work, my job itself, physical activity, chores around the house — I paid a lot of attention to what I “couldn’t” do or what I “didn’t want to” do. I fed that wolf a lot and it followed me through my labor and these early days of motherhood. It’s time to have a follow through mentality, a “life is great because of the puzzles we need to solve” mentality, an “I’m incredibly capable and successful” mentality.

Being Hard on Myself – If someone spoke to me the way I sometimes speak to myself, I would have them out of my life pronto. This is something I have worked on for a few years…and I have definitely improved, I am definitely kinder to myself. But the challenges of motherhood are bringing this up in a big way….and I need to tame this aspect for myself, my husband and my son.