The month of June was pretty constant for me. I was living without roommates in my house; working full time, preparing all of my meals and going to yoga 6-7 times per week. The positive insight I gained from books, yoga, and self-reflection left me feeling healthier than ever! July came around to throw off my routine with three adventures to Colorado, Nevada, and Florida.
During the first week of July, I found myself driving to my home in Ft. Worth wondering how I could best lead a group of high-school students on a spiritual excursion through mountain and metropolis alike. I packed backpacking gear and jumped in a van with the youth group from Southside – my church alma mater. On the trip, I realized how different I appeared to everyone today who knew me back when I was in the youth group. My health-centered lifestyle is now a prominent aspect of my life; my food choices, exercise, physical and mental self-awareness included. During the prior month of living alone, I hadn’t received any commentary or feedback on my lifestyle choices. I was taken off-guard to see people react to how “weird” my lifestyle-of-late is. I chose not to feel uncomfortable though; rather, I felt confident in the choices I have been making (all by myself!). Throughout the trek up a mountain and through the streets of Denver, I got to know some really great people. They were great because I felt comfortable being myself around them. It was a fantastic week, and I miss the bonds I formed!
My father and sister reside in Las Vegas, Nevada. I hadn’t spent time with them in a while, so I hopped on a plane to visit! It was fantastic to watch TV with them, catch up, avoid super tourist-y activities, and not-spend-all-my-money. Sometimes developing a long-distance relationship is difficult, but I enjoyed going out there to do so. As I become an adult, I realize that the craziest part of growing up is recognizing your parents and older siblings are real people with real passions and problems. Now that I have gained that insight, I am able to have a different kind of – better – relationship with them.
On a lighter note – I got back from Destin, Florida on Sunday with my best friend from high school and her entire family. We had a ton of fun going to the beach every day; playing volleyball, boogie boarding (by that I mean float-on-the-board and try not to drown when the waves come), and lounging in beach chairs. The seafood was great too!
Although I am happy I went on each of these trips, the travelling really affected the consistency that I had going! It wasn’t until my last trip to Florida that I started realizing the negative effects, and made me more confident that the positive choices I had been making were good. For almost an entire month, I hardly exercised and I ate far too much fast (and fried) food. I know I know, your first thought is probably “Oh, it’s no big deal; you have been doing so well! And you are on vacation!” Well, I initially thought the same thing. Unfortunately, I have noticed how much allowing my lifestyle to go on vacation is affecting what feels like everything! My overall physical wellness, energy level, mood, etc. have all suffered. It is truly crazy how easy it is to fall back into eating unhealthy food. Sadly, more often than not, we choose those foods just because they’re quick and tasty! We are addicted to convenience, and I’m guilty of it too.
Honestly, I feel like crap.
I’m lethargic. I’m finding it difficult to be positive. I have hardly any desire to exercise. I’m breaking out. I feel stiff. Worst of all, unhealthy foods seem much more tempting and appealing! I was so excited to get back to Abilene to buy groceries and make meals composed primarily from the produce section. And now that I’m here, it has been tough to get back into the routine! I am discouraged that I have backtracked on my progress in yoga and wellness, but I keep reminding myself that it is never too late or too bad to catch up! Again, I am amazed at how much of a difference a few weeks can make.
Okay – back to positivity. While traveling, I read and reflected on “The Four Agreements,” where author Don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness. These principles really resonated with me and help address much of the anxiety and unhappiness I have experienced throughout my life. Implementing these concepts to real-life situations has been really fruitful for me!
The Four Agreements:
- Be Impeccable With Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say/do is a projection of their own reality. When you’re immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. (AKA stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks of you!)
- Don’t Make Assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings and drama.
- Always Do Your Best – Your best will change from moment to moment; it’ll be different when you’re healthy than when you’re sick. Always do your best to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
I hope these make as much sense to you as they do to me. So much of my life has been focused on doubts and worries in regards to these exact topics! I have become more aware of the power I have to change someone’s perception of another person based solely on what I say about them, so now I try to control what I am projecting about others. I used to take SO many things personally! If it had to do with friends not texting me back or the way people acted towards me – or even looked at me – I would worry. I would overthink and overanalyze to make assumptions about their thoughts, because it must have had to do with me or something I did. But in reality, they simply forgot to reply or were having a bad day. I love to assume the worst that could happen, which is usually not what will happen. In one of Max Lucado’s sermons, he talks about building your thoughts on the truth. So many times I have taken an event or occurrence and let a negative thought of what “could happen” spiral downward and take over, overwhelming me with stress and anxiety. I’ve been reminding myself that most of those negative thoughts are not true, so why think about them? I honestly feel liberated from thoughts I’ve been enslaved to in the past!
Anyway, I feel so confident going into my senior year, knowing that I can be myself AND be happy (!!!), and I even have a better idea of what to do and what to avoid in order to achieve that.