The Story We Write

Once again, it’s the beginning of a new month. Even though time is just an illusion, I always feel inspired to try new things around times like this. Especially with spring lingering just on the horizon. This month I’d like to start trying to work on my inner dialogue. I really believe it’s important the way we talk to ourselves. We are actively creating our own reality each moment with the words we use to describe it. Language is such an interesting and powerful thing. Even though I know this to be true, it has still always been hard for me to implement a plan to change my own narrative.

I am a very stubborn person when it comes to my beliefs and ideas about things. I am quick to anger when challenged, even by myself. It is hard for me to accept that the way I have been interpreting the world around me isn’t necessarily the only way it can be interpreted. Whenever I try to speak to myself more kindly, that harsh inner critic is repelled. Why are you lying to yourself? It says irritated. Even though I know if I keep trying the words will feel more true to me eventually. It’s hard to overcome the initial feeling of being fake.

This month, instead of going straight for self-talk like I usually do, I want to try to change my inner dialogue in general. I think that might be an easier place to start. For example, I often feel stressed when I am “forced” to do something, whether that be by someone else or myself. I am always reciting the phrase, “I have to…” fill in the blank. I know I don’t really have to but that’s just what I’ve always said. I’d like to start there. Instead of repeating to my friends, family, and myself, “I have to go to work everyday this week” I want to say “I GET to go to work everyday this week.”

It doesn’t seem like a huge change, but I’m willing to bet switching out those two words will lead to so much more happiness and gratitude in my life. “Have to” makes me feel rushed and forced. “Get to” is a reminder that I am ultimately grateful for the opportunity to do the things I do everyday. I am grateful for my wonderful job. I am grateful for my strong healthy body that lets me workout everyday. I am grateful to have coffee to make in the morning and sweet baby angels that need me.

It will be interesting to start being more mindful of the ways I say things to myself and to others. I probably say “have to” even more than I realize. I’m sure it will be nice to remind myself more often that I don’t have to do anything really. I am doing the things I do because I want to and I want to spend more time focusing on how grateful I am that I get to, that I am able to. I am the one writing this story. And the character I play is not a poor servant of others, the universe, or even that voice inside my head. I am free. I am happy. I am so fortunate. I get to live this amazing, wonderful, fascinating, exciting life. It’s about time I started reminding myself of that.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

March: A Month of Minimalism

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For awhile now I have been extremely interested in the idea of a minimalist lifestyle. My parents both have the tendency to hoard random items they will probably never need or have the urge to look at again. My mother has always baffled me with her massive stacks of old magazines. She would also say that she “wanted to look at them someday when she retired.” (She’s been retired for two years now and hasn’t touched them.) My father has filled a good portion of the yard with broken down old cars “in case he needs the spare parts someday.” With my background in psychology I know the potential being raised in this environment could have on me. I am always hyper vigilant of when I am accumulating too many unnecessary items.

I have always been a person that finds comfort in neat and orderly spaces. If my coffee table begins to get cluttered or the dishes start to pile up it has a noticeable effect on my mood and anxiety level. I always feel so light and refreshed after cleaning and organizing my home. When I realized that there was a popular trend known as minimalism, I was immediately interested.

I stumbled upon a video on Youtube a few days ago laying out the framework for a 30-day minimalism challenge. That is why I decided that this month was going to be my first calculated attempt at downsizing my possessions. So far I have gone through my bags, wallets, clothes, shoes, and beauty products. It isn’t even the end of the first week and already I have thrown away and donated a ridiculous amount of stuff. And I feel so good!

Just the thought of having less is so liberating to me. Eventually I plan on buying a tiny house and owning even less than I will at the end of this month. There is just something so pleasing about not being physically and emotionally attached to so many different objects. It is also satisfying to know that the few items that remain are actually very special and important to me. I cannot wait to see how the rest of this month turns out. I am excited to someday live a life free from attachment, embracing each new moment and having more time to spend experiencing and cherishing my life rather than being buried under things.

Wish me luck!