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Laura’s Story

I was born in 1977 and lived an uneventful childhood in the suburbs of Southeast Michigan. On March 17, 2000, I met my future husband while wasted on my 23rd birthday. On our first date, I ordered many drinks at dinner. When he insisted on paying, I told him, “You don’t have to pay for my alcoholism.” I said it jokingly, but those words would later haunt me.

We got married in 2001 and did the normal things people our age did. We finished college, had babies, got settled in our career fields, got laid off, found employment again, bought a house, moved a few times, etc.

In 2014 I lost my mom suddenly. This was the worst and best thing to happen to me. I often wonder what my path would have been if she hadn’t died. The whole year was just awful. A few months before losing my mom, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, we lost our old boxer to a stroke, then lost my mom, then my grandma a few months later, then our cat ran away, then we lost our young cousin suddenly, and then lastly, on the last day of that dreadful year, we lost my grandpa.

The good news is that within the first few days of 2015, we were on our way home from my grandpa’s funeral and received a call that our cat had been found, four months after he disappeared.This gave me immense hope that there is a much bigger picture and to have faith.

My drinking was going strong as I dealt with the loss of my mom. In the spring of 2016 I was diagnosed with Pleural Effusion. When I found out it can be caused by a bad liver, I opened up to my general practitioner. I was ready for inpatient rehab.

He told me not to go. He told me there would be many drug addicts there and it’s not a place for people like me. He gave me some information on a program their social worker ran, but all of information he gave went nowhere. When I finally did reach the social worker, she told me I couldn’t join the program because I hadn’t stopped drinking yet. It seemed like I would never be able to get out of the cycle.

2016 came and went and I tried my hardest to moderate my drinking. It didn’t work. All I could think of is that if a doctor couldn’t help me, then I was certainly an anomaly, and was left feeling hopeless. In early 2017 found the recovery community and started to explore sobriety. It took some setbacks and learning curves, but in March 2021 I will hit my two year anniversary of being alcohol free.

My favorite part of my recovery has been the spiritual growth I’ve experienced. I look at where and how I was then, and how I am now and it makes me so grateful for even the smallest things.

I can look at the horrific things, like my mom dying and me relapsing for the 100th time, and it reminds me of the many blessings I have received from these experiences. I am looking forward to years of personal growth in this area.

Read more about my recovery at:

http://www.thedevildrinksvodka.com

Honey, I Killed your Ego

If only it were that easy. If only I could don my superhero costume and go rescue my hubby’s soul… imprisoned by years of manipulation and abuse from his ego.

It’s like the old devil and angel on your shoulder, you know, the wolf you feed? We all have a devil and an angel, and only we have the power to give.

But that’s not the hard part, you see, this can get really tricky.

Our ego sounds just like us, and not only lies to us, but does not hesitate to pounce on us the moment we are in a vulnerable situation.

For example, you recently put on weight- a lot of it and instead of continuing to stuff your face, you decide to face the mirror. You get serious. You make an appointment with a nutritionalist and sign up for a gym membership, because you’ve had enough, gosh darn it and going to lose the extra pounds once and for all.

The first week goes beautifully. Everything is within your control and you manage to keep junk food out of your house, hit the gym everyday and stick to your meal plan. The first week you manage to lose over 5 pounds.

Week two starts off lovely. More of the same, gym, salads and lots and lots of water. Only, this time the scale doesn’t budge. It’s Friday, you’ve been working hard all week and just found out that you are actually one pound heavier than the day before. “Oh well,” you think as you head off to work, “It’s just water weight, I’m sure.” You try to convince yourself, while you notice a tiny raging voice in the back of your mind (aka, your ego).

You get to work and the entire scale debacle is forgotten. Until you get an email about a bunch of donuts and cookies in the lounge.

“No.” You firmly tell yourself. “I’m on a roll and not going to ruin it.”

As the morning goes on, your stomach rumbles get louder, and so does that nagging voice.

You never get treats dropped off at work, you’re missing out.

What does it matter anyways? You’re already up a pound!

You’ve worked so hard for two weeks, you deserve it.

And, unless you have the skills to recognize and ZAP it, the voice carries on until you either give in or are driven to the point of absolute misery.

So you head to the lounge with the intent of grabbing one, small cookie, which you manage to do successfully.

The day drags on and as the stress piles on and you glance at the crumb covered napkin, reminding you about the treats and making your stomach growl. By lunchtime, you’ve not only gone back into the lounge, but you’ve taken an entire paper plate full of cookies back to your desk and promptly inhale them without barely tasting them.

But that’s not all.

As you try to focus on the afternoon, that voice is still persistent. Only this time it has a different tune.

I can’t believe you, you’re such a pig.

I bet someone saw you, you’re the laughing stock of the building.

And you thought you could lose weight, you’re just a loser!

What the frick freakin’ ego?!? You just want to make me miserable 😢😢😢

I’m very very lucky that now I know enough to see the truth, and recognize that bastard ego (they’re all bastards, yours, mine, they’re all the same).

But, not realizing your ego is abusing you, you persevere and manage to stop at the gym on the way home. While getting in your car, you notice a missed call and voicemail from your buddy who invites you to dinner. You call him back and agree to meet him at Ruby Tuesdays, where you know you can make a phenomenal a salad, but instead you order the fish and chip special and split a liter of beer with your buddy- who only ends up drinking 1/2 glass, while you slowly suck the liter dry. You figure you already messed up, so what’s the point of holding back now, right?

The next day you’re up two more pounds and you spend the weekend binging on pizza and Netflix, because when you consider going to the gym – or prepping your meals- that mean voice won’t stop chiming in.

You’re wasting your time.

You’re nothing but a fat slob.

But that’s not working, so your ego takes a different tactic.

But you’ve worked so hard, you deserve a break.

You starved for two weeks and are no better off than you were before, so just enjoy the pizza.

And so you do, because it’s right. Right?

No.

It’s wrong, very wrong, all wrong, but all so tricky.

The ego wants external comfort, food, alcohol, sex, etc. The ego wants to compare you with everyone else and wants you to see yourself as separate, as special. The ego is a master manipulator and looks at our fears to grow its power.

So you have to call it out, and tell it to go to h***.

And then you have to pull up your big person pants.

If you ate the donut, fine, but don’t use it as an excuse to derail. And for heavens sake, if you know the donut will end in a downward spiral, then don’t take the first bite. Sugar addiction is real, just like I physically can’t just drink one drink so I have to completely stay away.

But, this goes much further than food and alcohol. Our ego is always with us, and more often than not bringing us down.

When I’m writing it tells me my story sucks and no one is going to want to read it.

When I’m celebrating an accomplishment, it tells me that I should have or could have done it differently and the praise must be a mistake.

When my key card at work doesn’t work to unlock the door, it tells me it’s probably because I got fired.

It doesn’t contain an ounce of niceness and often snickers at my aging body parts.

I want to challenge you to find, explore and defeat your ego. It’s very simple. It starts with recognizing that nasty little voice whenever it rears it’s ugly head.

Just recognizing it is power.

And when you notice it, tell it to go take a hike. That’s even more powerful.

It’ll start to get smaller until eventually it’s hardly noticeable.

Until you start going through something tough and become vulnerable. You might not even realize that you’re vulnerable, but your ego does!!! (Remember those cookies in the lounge? Your ego made sure to remind you of the unhappy number on the scale that morning- because your vulnerability gives it power).

The great news is that once you start calling it out, it becomes addicting. It feels good to be the one in power and to recognize it for what it is- a master sabotager.

It’s not a hard thing to change but it does require you to be conscious of it and consistent with turning it off. It becomes a habit not long after- and you’ll more than likely experience an immense amount of happiness during the process.

The process is subtle but transformative.

As the ego fades away, self-appreciation, self-confidence and self-love tends to take root. With the tiny ego in the background, the good stuff will flourish. You may notice some subtle but positive changes.

•You might gossip less, because it no longer makes you feel good.

•You might choose the salad for lunch, because your body is craving a nourishing meal.

•You might skip a workout because your body feels exhausted and allowing it to rest feels like you’re honoring yourself.

•You might go the extra mile, because even though you only committed to three, it feels just so darn good.

•You might get teary eyed, driving home on a sunny day. Not because you’re sad, but because you’re looking around at the grass, the trees, the houses, the other cars, the sky & clouds, and you just feel so incredibly grateful for the beauty and simplicity of this life.

Killing my alcohol addiction was also the death of my ego. But you don’t need a vice or addiction to squash your ego.

Just recognize it- that voice, the rude one that likes to ramble. That’s it, it’s that simple 😊

So no, honey, I didn’t kill your ego. I’d love nothing more than to gruesomely murder your ego, along with every other ego out there, but that’s just impossible ☹️

Two Years, No Drinks

Two years ago was one of the most shameful days of my life.

I won’t go into details, and they aren’t tragically awful, as I was a ‘high bottom’ drunk. I’ve never had a DUI or anything like that. But I knew that I had to stop drinking once and for all.

In these two years, the blessings and gifts haven’t stopped coming. These come in the form of simple things like the intrinsic appreciation of a warm, sunny, lazy day. Other times they are bigger gifts, like getting an A+ on my physical exam and bloodwork or actually communicating effectively with my spouse. 

At any rate, I can honestly say that these two years have been the happiest of my adult life. 

Read that again.

What if I had known this all along? 

I can’t go back and I don’t do regrets anymore, so my point is if you are reading this, today is the best day to quit. There will never be a better day than today and you are not getting any younger. 

Speaking of younger, according to my Arboleaf scale, my metabolic age is lower than my actual age 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

If you have no idea how good that feels, than you are in need of some self-care/self-love. It is a boost that no amounts of drugs/alcohol could ever provide- and the results are long acting and cause a chain of other positive events. 

The false highs do the opposite. While the pleasure is immediate, the fall is hard and the only way out seems to be located somewhere that contains more, more, and more.

Okay enough soapbox talk. Wanna know how I’m going to celebrate? I’m going to go to TJ Maxx to get back some of the stuff I tried to buy a few weeks ago.

I was yearning for that stuff for about a week, then finally forgot about it.

Now I’m almost out of conditioner for real and tried to order a similar product off Amazon but it’s not nearly as good, so I’m just going to have to go back to that store.

The good news is that I know exactly what I want and it’s only a few small things, not a cart full like I had before. And it’s now a need. 

I hope you all have a happy Sunday 😻🌸💐

Don’t Look at Me

Spring has sprung, and the sunshine couldn’t feel any brighter. The birds are getting louder every day and the grass is slowly turning a lush green. 

Despite the arrival of spring, and my birthday, last week was tough. Low vibes and low energy, all week long. I didn’t workout as much as usual and my workouts all week were weak. 

Still feeling kind of low, despite the fact that this has been the most perfect weekend, if you’re looking at outside factors beyond my control. 

But, I’m focused. Shadow work has been popping up everywhere, so naturally that’s what I’m focused on. I’m in a somatic writing class for the next two weeks- and I’m not enjoying it too much. I am in way over my head. The women in this group seem to be very far above me spiritually. I’m trying to learn bits and pieces from them, but I’m feeling sort of lost in this class. 

I joined a book club group for the book, May Cause Miracles, that starts in a couple weeks. This is a 40 day soul program that I started a couple years ago and have been meaning to get back to. 

One thing that I’ve really recently noticed is that I have awful body image problems. That’s about where I stopped while doing this program before, so I’m eager to see if it helps. 

By awful body image problems, I mean I feel awkward and uncomfortable when anyone compliments me on the way I look. 

In 2019, I lost a lot of weight. I attributed it to getting off Prednisone after being on it for a year, plus intermittent fasting and eating better in general, and finally getting out of the alcohol cycle and completely omitting that poison. Whenever anyone said anything about my weight loss, I immediately told them it was because I’m off the pred. Fine. 

Well that was fall of 2019. Since then I’ve gotten healthier. I’m eating cleaner, joined Club Pilates, and workout regularly. 

Someone recently commented on how healthy I looked. Immediately, I used being off Pred as an excuse. I later thought about it and wondered why I wasn’t honest. Especially given how much work I’ve put into my health. Why didn’t I just say that I’m eating better and doing killer workouts? 

My sister and I are reading the cliff note version of A Course in Miracles. We read a lesson nearly every day. A couple weeks ago, the author told a story about asking his daughter what she was doing. 

“Just laying here, feeling beautiful.” She replied. I can’t even remember what the point of that day’s lesson was but my sister and I had a long conversation about it. 

Sister loved what the daughter said. Said she was going to use that line. That line was horrifying to me. I would never say that, unless it was a sarcastic remark made to laugh at myself.

I decided right then that I would be happiest not even discussing looks or the body at all. 

But why?

Why is this so Taboo for me? 

So… I’m relying on my favorite guru, Gabby Bernstein to help me out! I may just need a miracle 🙌🏻🙏🏻

So, happy day 725! Almost two years, and the real work has just begun.

Maybe work is the wrong word. Most of the time it feels like miracles and magic and is way more play than work. Oddly enough though, the toughest situations or lessons often produce the most magic. This I must remember— it’s very easy to forget and resist. 

Happy Sunday friends! I hope you all have a great day and are able to rest, relax and get in some sunshine ☀️

Are We Sure Stuff Doesn’t Make Us Happy?

Yesterday was a gorgeous March Friday in Michigan. In celebration of the great weather we’ve had all week, I ventured out to do some leisurely shopping at TJ Maxx. The only thing that I was specifically looking for was a St. Patty’s Day mask. Anything else that I found would be a bonus.

It takes a certain mood for me to poke around a store without worrying about time, and yesterday I was in that mood. There was nothing I needed, but I spent who-knows-how-long looking at endless racks of purses, and then sunglasses, and then off to the make-up section where I would spend even more time.

I found some amazing treasures! I have a very saggy face, from being middle age and from losing a significant amount of weight. My intuition recently told me to use manuka honey on my face to help with firming up the skin, so when I found a night-time manuka honey firming cream, I knew it was meant for me.

The make-up/skin section had a slew of cheap goodies. I got a leave-in conditioner, another hair towel (I bought one for the first time around Christmas and am constantly washing it), a room spray, two clay masks for detoxification and firming, tinted lip balm, and that might be it for that section. Off to the bras/underwear.

I immediately found a pack of Lucky bras that were soft and exactly what I was looking for, but they didn’t have my size. I searched and searched and as luck would have it, I finally found a set in a size L- I was thrilled!  I also bought matching underwear and a pack of pj shorts that were so soft. Mission accomplished in the lingerie section- off to the food/home goods aisles.

Not a whole lot here. I found some chocolate/caramel candies and chocolate fudge. I looked at the notebooks and candles and then glanced at my cart with stuff piled in it, and knew that it was almost time to go. But not before hitting the clothing section. Near the clothing section is the workout section, and I scored two yoga blocks on clearance!

The store was starting to get busy and I knew I’d be quick. With the aisles getting crowded, I set my cart off to the side while I quickly rummaged through the clothing, glancing at my cart every now and again to make sure it was still there.

After looking at and almost buying a couple of tops, I decided that I didn’t need anything else, and it was time to go. I moaned when I saw the growing line as I went to get my treasures.

Only, my cart was gone. Just, gone.

It couldn’t have gone far. I looked all over- by the service counter, the checkout lanes, the restroom, where was it? If an employee took it, they couldn’t have emptied it that quick, and so I circled the store, not once, not twice but three times looking for my cart. Throughout the whole ordeal, a little voice was telling me that there is nothing in that cart that I really needed.

After three rounds, and about three minutes of reshopping and attempting to refind the same treasures, I gave up and left, feeling empty.

TJ Maxx did not have any St. Patty’s Day masks, so after leaving, I ran into Walmart. No masks there, but I did find some other St. Patty’s Day decorations and a couple of bras similar to what I found at TJ Maxx, and probably just as good. I felt good as I checked out at Walmart, thinking of the money I probably saved not buying a bunch of junk.

I felt a little happy when I arrived home and thought about all of the items and packaging that I now did not have to put away and sort through. Putting all new stuff away sometimes leads to feeling let-down and I acknowledged that at least I didn’t have that to deal with. I was still sad. I told my oldest son what happened, and we laughed and laughed, because it was kind of funny.

Last night, I thought of the tinted lip balm and got excited to try it, until I remembered I didn’t buy it. It was one of my ‘cart casualties.’ Every time I thought of this, it made me feel empty, and I had to remind myself that it was all stuff I already had.

This morning is Saturday morning, which means when I woke up, I didn’t have to get up right away.

Want to know the first thing I did?

I grabbed my phone and went on the TJ Maxx website to see if I could find some of the make-up and conditioners I found on clearance, and to see if I could find the Lucky bra and underwear. No luck, nothing, and so I’m writing this out.

I have the urge to go back today and get some of my stuff. I don’t know why the pull is so strong, and why I feel that I am missing out on something.

It’s a nice day and I’m going to forget about it. I’m taking the dog to Proud Lake and going to enjoy the sunshine by the river.

Lucky for me, there’s a Dollar Tree by the park and I can’t wait to stop and poke around on the way home.

Full Moon

This week has been a doozy, which I attribute to today’s “Wolf Moon” the first full moon of the year. Monday was fine. Tuesday I went into work and had kids scheduled to see. I have a paraprofessional assigned to me on in-person days, so I was counting on him for a number of things.

But, he got pulled to do something else and I didn’t find out until after I arrived, so I was scrambling for a minute. I also found out that he wouldn’t be in on Thursday afternoon because he helps with material pick-up and that was moved to Thursday (which is today) this week. More scrambling and cancelling a couple in-person sessions that were supposed to start today.

I was probably a little more bitchy to all three of our parapros that day, not understanding why my help got taken and what steps I should take. Do I address the teacher who asked him to watch her class for like the entire morning, so she could get testing done or do I address him and tell him to tell people “no” when they ask and that he’s committed? Adult conversations are hard sometimes.

Granted, this is all new, we just recently got permission to start seeing kids in-person again, but I did verify with him last week that he would be able to help me. I was very frustrated to say the least. In the end, I talked to him and made him a schedule starting next week (so he knows what his commitments are) and reminded the teacher that he would no longer be able to help him on the days I’m in.

I didn’t have a great feeling driving home. I didn’t feel like I was my best self. I did a lot of thinking on the way home, and texted all three of our parapros an apology text, told them how much I love and appreciate them. That made it better. They truly are the best and I need to work on my reactions. I get anxious and pissy when last minute changes occur. I’m working on it.

I woke up the next day (Wednesday) feeling happy and optimistic. I had a light day, but planned to get a lot of testing done. I was working from home and excited that I didn’t have any obligations in the evening so it was going to be a relaxing day.

Until I found a sore on my kitty. She had been acting kind of weird since the day before, but her long hair was matted and covering it. With Covid, the vet hospitals are all slammed and it’s almost impossible to get an appointment. I called her vet and they couldn’t see her until Friday, and I texted the vet I used to work for, but they didn’t even have a doctor in the office, so that was a no.

Luckily we have an animal emergency clinic less than two miles away, and when it was all said and done the wait wasn’t that bad. But I was frantic for a bit, trying to figure out if she would be okay and wondering what happened and trying to juggle my groups in case I didn’t make it back by 1:00. Or try to figure out if I should bring my computer and connect from my car. It isn’t the first time I’ve waited in that parking lot with one of my pets during this pandemic, but hopefully it’ll be the last!

It wasn’t an abscess like they thought, it was cellulitis under a bunch of matted fur. She was bruised and looked like she had a lot of small puncture wounds. I have no idea what happened, but she does like to hang out on the roof, so she may have fallen off.

She has been taking her medicine with her food and affectionate since her visit, I’m optimistic that she will recover quickly.

If you know me at all, you know that I go nuts when my real babies or my fur-babies are sick! And cats are really hard because they’re stoic and can be tough to medicate. I’m always worried when taking them in, especially for a wound that I had no idea how bad it was. I just know that she was very painful when I put her in the carrier.

I did good yesterday. I practiced my newish vet mantra that I started after taking my dog in for issue after issue after issue. Quick and easy, quick and easy, quick and easy I would say out loud. It helped. His chronic ear got better and just one more visit later, I heard music to my ears “We don’t have to see him back until his vaccines are due.”

I told Zoe all the way there that it was going to be Quick and easy, quick and easy and she would be healed and feel wonderful. All in all, it turned out to be best case scenario (I think- they didn’t have to clean out a wound and stitch her up, maybe put in a drain tube like they though).

And the thoughts and worries of cancer and a tumor were hushed away, while I assured myself that no matter what all would be okay. And I felt at peace.

It is now Thursday and I’m almost halfway done with my work day. Tomorrow is records day, so we don’t have any obligations, except to get our records done, but they aren’t due until the end of next week.

I’m proud of myself for working to stay grounded this week. I’ve been meditating daily and removing myself from any negativity that I can. Not long ago, I would have handled all this much different, and likely would have coped with it with the help of my old friend Captain Morgan. I’m so grateful that’s not my life anymore.

My oldest son, who is on the verge of 18, awoke early yesterday. It’s rare that anyone is up with me before 7:00am. He has diabetes and woke up with high blood sugar, so he got up to get insulin and then stayed up.

It was dark and peaceful as we gabbed about stocks. His grandpa recently got him into stocks and apparently there’s a huge thing going on with Gamestop and Reddit. People keep buying Gamestop stocks, so now a $15 stock is up to like $300. Those on Reddit claim that it could get to $5,000, and I’m kind of tempted to buy. I think it’s going to come crashing down any minute, if it hasn’t already. It was a great morning though with my man aged baby.

I hope during this crazy full moon week, that you are able to stay grounded and sane. In fact, if you have any tips on how to stay calm in the midst of chaos, please send them my way.

Namaste

The 'Wolf Moon' will rise in the sky this week – here's how you can best  view it | WAVY.com

How to Buy Happiness: Don’t

You Can’t Buy Happiness 

“Oh yes you can!”  You may be saying.  

But no, the hard truth is that while things may make you temporarily feel joy, they often leave us feeling guilty, regretful and can clutter up our homes and lives.

It has been REALLY, really hard for me to fully grasp this concept, but I am getting there.

For years I searched for happiness. In our 19 years of marriage, I pushed us to move 4 times (to get a “better” house) and if we weren’t moving, I was pushing him to have another kid or interviewing for a “better” job.  If you asked me if I was happy, I’d tell you yes with certainty.  After all, I had the house, the 2 car garage and  2 ½ kids, and after 4 years of teaching at sub par charter schools and interviewing constantly, I finally landed a job at a public school in an amazing community.  

After a few years in what I would call my “dream job,” I began to get the itch again and started looking at schools that were closer.  I also considered a career change, even though I love my job working with small groups of students.  I was not feeling fulfilled and was eagerly looking to see what would come next.  

While in recovery I hit the external happiness ceiling.  Meaning, we had bought our “forever” home, we were too old to have another baby and there were no other jobs for me to move onto.  Even though it would be wildly irresponsible of us, I considered talking him into buying a large church up north and quitting our jobs.  In my defense, it was an awesome building and home on like 5 acres and was dirt cheap.  

While in recovery I learned all about “transfer addiction.”  So when I quit drinking, I stuffed my face for a long time and gained a lot of weight.  I also turned to things to consume like caffeine and sugar.  It took me a couple years to realize this, but after a particularly stressful family party followed by a couple weeks of mindlessly stuffing my face, I realized how drinking, overeating and even shopping are merely a symptom.  

The symptom consists of reaching for external stimuli to fill a void.  

I am still trying to master this concept of reaching inside not outside to find peace.  I have found that there are simple practices that can help with that empty feeling.  

Meditation

Daily rituals or routines 

Exercise 

Self Care (warm baths, regular exercise, decent nutrition, etc)

Connecting to others

For me, meditation and exercise are the biggest things.  I have something called “Monkey Mind” (a constantly wandering and indecisive mind) and both of these things help me tremendously from feeling restless and uneasy in my brain.  

Here’s the thing: While I know that meditation and exercise are extremely important for my mental well-being, it’s way too easy to forget this.  Many times, I’ve fallen into a funk and stopped my routine which inevitably leads me on a downhill spiral of eating or drinking too much, or spending too much money on things I don’t need.  It is such a gradual slope though, you barely notice that you are falling apart until you are completely unraveled.  At least, I’ve found this to be true for me time and time again.  

The best part?  Mediation, walks and baths don’t cost a thing!

How about some Self-Love?

Self love is the foundation of health. Without it, our lives can become unmanageable, and it can happen so gradually, we may not even realize it.

It’s not always easy, and can feel really icky to take care of ourselves. But self-care makes up the blocks of that foundation. It can feel greedy when we set boundaries with family members or have to say no to an invite or favor. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first, which feels self-centered, but we have to take care of ourselves #1. If we are not well cared for, it’s nearly impossible to care for others. 

Happiness comes from the inside. When we don’t love ourselves, it’s nearly impossible to feel joyful, unless something really big happens- like winning the lottery or buying our dream home. On the other hand, when we practice self-love, we’ll find glee in the most mundane of places. I sometimes cry tears of joy while driving because the gratitude I feel for this life is overwhelming. It’s always a wonderful feeling and one I’ll never get tired of. 

Where to start?

Start with actively forgiving yourself. I don’t care how terrible you were or are, I urge you to realize that you were doing the best that you could do, and move on. Close your eyes for just one minute. Think of one or more things that you feel guilty about, thank the feeling for giving you the insight and then let it go. Visualize it floating up far far away. 

Notice your thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve proclaimed, out loud to someone, that I will be winning the worst mother of the year award, and meant it. I slam myself all the time, and so do my friends, which makes me think it’s kind of normal. Now that I know better, I have a name for those thoughts and have gotten good at sending them away. Sometimes my mind says nasty things about myself, which I’ve gotten better at noticing the absurdity of these thoughts. 

Start with these things and notice that it doesn’t really require you to “do” anything. You don’t have to wake up early, or do X minutes of whatever. Just notice and forgive. 

This seems so insignificant, but it’s the small shifts that create an avalanche of change.

So how about some self-love for 2021? I think we all could use it ❤ 

Self Love

Quiet the Mind

In a modern society, it’s easy to let our mind get cluttered with thoughts. I have what some people call ‘Monkey Mind’ and can be severely affected by these statements and questions swirling in my head. For me, the symptoms of a messy mind include; feeling anxious/stressed, having a buzzing sensation at the base of my skull (I picture the chaotic thoughts waiting to be silenced), wanted to stress eat or shop, etc.

Did you know that with just a minute a day, you can decrease stress and anxiety with meditation?  We are a busy society that thrives off of a crammed schedule and multi-tasking.  Just taking a moment to quiet our mind has amazing benefits and can bring serenity to our world.

Meditation also allows us to get in touch with our soul, our inner self. You may hear messages or see visions while in a meditative state.

This practice is probably the number one routine that helps me stay grounded and balanced.

I recommend this practice for a happy life. What have you got to lose?

For more information on the benefits of meditation, go to:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858