Every time I walk out of my gym, there’s a white board by the protein shake bar that they will write motivational quotes on. Most days I kind of just pass by it and don’t read it, because they’re usually pretty cheesy and cliche. Like:
” You Gotta Hustle for That Muscle”
“Don’t Wish for a Good Body; Work For it”
“Sweat + Sacrifice = Success”
But honestly, the last few have been different, and I have thought very deeply about them. So much so that I even wrote them down in a note on my phone to save them!
“If It Doesn’t Challenge You It Won’t Change You”
“The Speed You Move Doesn’t Matter, Only the Direction”
“Positive Thoughts Breeds Positive Results”
As silly as I felt writing these gym quotes down in my phone, they really impacted me. But it’s always the small and simple things that we aren’t expecting that make the difference in us. Just like these quotes, they started small but has snowballed and escalated within me into these thoughts I am writing now.
All of these quotes can of course be applied to my life (and yours) outside of the gym.
If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You
This particular quote has been on my mind the most since I saw it last week, due to all of the traumatic experiences and trials I have faced in the last 3 + years.
I have been challenged so much, that it’s literally almost killed me; my entire life burned down around me and I somehow survived and have dug myself out from the ashes.
And because I survived what challenged me, I have changed. I will never be that woman again, nor do I ever want to be her again.
Last week I got an email from the online print company Shutterfly reminding me “Hey! Remember these photos from 5 years ago?” They were bridal/groomal photos my ex and I had taken, that I had used the website to put together into a printed book. And to answer your question: No, Shutterfly automated email, I didn’t remember those photos until you sent them to me. In fact, I never wanted to think about them or see them again! But there they were… showcasing me in a beautiful last wedding dress that I had picked out with my mom and my sister, posing with my ex at the Castle Amphitheater in Provo.
It was like a punch to my gut to see them. Memories flooding my mind of that day and how excited I was to take those photos, and then printing them so we could cherish them forever. I was looking forward to our wedding day coming up in May, looking forward to marrying who I thought was the man of my dreams.
Quickly, I deleted the email, but I felt dizzy and sick. It’s always a trauma trigger to see any photo of my ex for me. After talking to my sister Heather I felt a little more calm, but my feathers were definitely ruffled for the next few days.
The thing that disturbed me the most, though, was not so much seeing my ex, but seeing that stranger who was with him in those photos. Yep, the stranger I’m referring to is me; or was me.
I am no longer that woman, and like I said earlier, I never want to be her again. She was manipulated and trapped into a sadistic and abusive relationship; she was co-dependent on the unhealthy behaviors and patterns within the marriage; she nearly lost everything including her own life trying to make it work.
I am a changed woman, and I will never… NEVER… let someone control me again like that. I am stronger, wiser, and most cautious than I was before, and it will not happen again.
And for that, those changes that have been forever made within me down into the very marrow of my bones, I am grateful. The challenges I faced changed me, all for the better.
The Speed You Move Doesn’t Matter, Only the Direction
Lately I have been struggling with feeling like I’m stuck in this weird funk. And I do not use the word “stuck” lightly at all; I feel literally trapped in this stage of my life that I can’t seem to figure out.
I wrote about it here a little bit I feel so unfulfilled right now in what I am doing and I wish I could figure out what I really want and what I really want to do with my life!
I guess that’s the problem everyone deals with, figuring out what to do with our lives! I’m still trying to answer that question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Well here I am, a grownup, and some days I just don’t have a damn clue!
To try and help guide myself on to the right course, I started making an outline of my life, which includes my goals (small and big), when I want to accomplish them, and then I went through and filled in ways I can make these things really happen. For me, visually seeing them I front of me helps a ton!
To make this outline of sorts, I actually use the incredible online organizational tool called Trello. If you haven’t checked them out, do yourself a favor and go look now!
There’s Always Time
While I sort through figuring out what exactly I want to do and what I need, I have to remember that there’s no time crunch or clock that I’m trying to race; there’s plenty of time!
Society likes to make us believe that everything these days is fast-paced and fast-tracked, and if we don’t know what we want to do before we enter 3rd grade that we are super far behind. OK, that was an exaggeration, (and if I wanted to be what I aspired to be in 3rd grade, I would be an astronaut veterinarian, which sounds kinda cool I guess!)
Life might seem like it is racing by us, but we really do have time to figure things out at our own pace! We shouldn’t ever let anyone, or anything, pressure us into something we are not ready for or that we don’t want.
Stop to Smell the ___ (Insert Whatever You Wanna Smell Here)
The old saying about stopping to smell the roses will always be good advice, because we will always need to be reminded to slow the hell down and enjoy the present.
Too often I have felt pressure: to figure out what I wanted to do in college (even though I still wonder if I really graduated in what I should have or could have); to get married (the first time), and now to get married again; to be better, smarter, braver; to be more social and to go to more social events.
But by farrrr… my favorite pressure pertains to the trauma I am still recovering from. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard a variation of the pressured advice to “just get over it” and “move on already.”
Gee, thanks… great advice! Easier said than done unfortunately…
In my defense, I am trying to get over it! It’s not as if I am just sitting around doing nothing and hoping it will all go away. I’m doing everything I can, but at my own pace. I go to therapy, I do energy healing, I meditate, I’ve ready numerous articles and blogs and books about healing and recovery, and everyday I continue to work on “me” in my own way!
And the most important thing in recovery and healing is not the speed of it, but the direction of it. If you’re going in a good direction, then you’re doing just fine. Stick to the middle lanes and let everyone and everything else zoom on past you in the fast lane.
I’m not writing this to sound mean or spiteful, I am just trying to put the awareness out there for anyone else in this situation. Don’t rush anyone through their recovery or grieving! Support them and love them, but definitely don’t try to tell them what to do.
If you’re reading this and you’re working on recovering from something traumatic or heartbreaking, or if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, by all means TAKE YOUR TIME! Because the bottom line is there is no set timeline to work through any of these things.
My only advice to anyone out there is to just take your time, listen to your body and your heart about what you need to recover and heal, and honestly take the time to stop, not just to smell the flowers, but just enjoy where you’re at and take your time getting to where you want to go!
Positive Thoughts Breeds Positive Results
Boy oh boy, do I have issues lately with my attitude. I’ll definitely be the first to admit that I have just felt defeated and super down about everything. I’ve retreated into my anti-social cocoon and been very distant and uninterested in my own life sometimes.
I think a lot of it relates to how I just feel so stuck in place right now, and can’t seem to find that light at the end of my tunnel that I’m moving towards, and gives me a purpose. Like why do I work? To just pay bills? To just exist? I want to feel like I have a reason for everything I am doing right now, and as of lately I just feel very blank and empty.
And as easy as it sometimes is to just wallow in my grouchy cloud and just feel sorry for myself, that isn’t helping me one bit. I make an effort to climb out of it everyday; some days I succeed and some days the darkness does. It’s a constant battle.
There is a saying about how Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe, and I think it also means that in general the energy and vibes you put out into the universe will reflect and then attract back to you the same.
You can’t litter your life with negativity, and then be surprised when your attitude turns into a pile of garbage!
So, if I want to be happy and find my true happiness, I have to put that out into the universe. If I believe I can find what I want and feel happy and fulfilled through that, then it can happen!
Some days it is harder for me to break away from the negative thoughts and the fears that seem to weigh heavily on me, but eventually as I continue to work through therapy and my own self-healing processes I can be rid of them forever. It just takes time and work, and I just need to be patient and loving to myself as I do it.
What Is Broken Can Be Fixed
Going back to my initial post on my blog about Kintsukuroi brokenness can be considered a blessing sometimes, because sometimes it takes being shattered down to pieces to be able to re-assemble your life the way it needs to be – and should be!
As I do piece myself back together from everything I’ve been through, those cracks everywhere tend to leak and let in the negativity and self-doubt that can end up breaking apart my progress again. I have to be strong, and hold those pieces together with all the good vibes and positivity I can muster up!
I won’t be broken forever, and I know that day when I finally feel whole and completely new is something definitely motivating me forward.
But go ahead and be broken – you are allowed to say you are not OK and that you’re hurting! You dont need to pretend that everything is roses and rainbows! Let yourself be broken, and start the process of putting your pieces back together.
Just Around the Corner
So as I continue to navigate my way through my life, I’ve decided to focus my perspective and change my attitude towards what’s ahead; and not fixate so much on where I am now.
If I live as if good things are always around the corner, it gives me motivation to keep going!
And honestly, good things really are always up ahead. Life won’t always hold you down under the water trying to drown you, sometimes life will be your best friend and you’ll live holding hand dancing under rainbows and riding unicorns.
Ok, obviously not really. But life won’t always be so bad. So as I give myself a major attitude adjustment, I ask those of you also struggling to try to do the same.
And just like another motivational white board quote said once;
“You Only Live Once? False. You live Everyday! You Only Die Once.”
So friends, let’s live everyday. Be in the moment, enjoy everything (good or bad) and find the joy that’s just around the corner.