Recently, I become a certified marriage family therapist supervisor and started my journey mentoring up-and-coming therapists. I wanted to give them something more than a signature for their hours. So I started thinking about my personal life and what I've learned the most so far. Not only as a therapist, but as a person. Like I do with everything, here's what I came up with in a shot glass.
1. Love is not a battlefield. Your head is.
Inner conflict blocks our potential. It what’s keeps us pressed down and spinning. Unhealthy relationships just make this conflict worse. The more you're able to resolve this battle, to decipher between your truth and someone else’s, listening to the faint whisper that is your Solid Self instead of your Pseudo, then executing it in your life every single day is what will change lenses and perspective and allow you to maneuver more at your potential. In all areas of your life. Stop fighting with yourself or you’ll never be happy.
2. You have the ability to build yourself a safe container.
If you create a safe space for yourself, growth is inevitable. Most people have cracked containers due to unhealthy upbringings, toxic relationships with others and/or themselves, and various events that have not been processed. What most people don’t know is that they can build themselves a new container. You don’t necessarily need a therapist. All you need is a burning desire to change, enough self awareness for revelations, and the courage to break unhealthy patterns and execute change in everyday life. This daily process builds you a new safe container, one that will promote your growth instead of stunt it.
3. Sugar is crack.
I grew up on fast food and sugar cereal. I thought vegetables came in a bag. It wasn’t until I found CrossFit in my late thirties that I realized the power of diet and exercise. It’s impossible to feel good about yourself if you don’t like the way you feel in your body. It’s impossible to feel alive and energetic if you’re fueling yourself with sugar and processed foods. One of the fastest ways to build self worth is to improve your diet and exercise.
4. Stop chasing.
This doesn’t mean to not have dreams. This means to stop putting life on hold until that thing you want to happen happens. The corner office. The start up. The “soulmate.” The picket fence. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 40 years on this planet, it’s that things will happen when they’re meant to happen. Not a day sooner and not a day later. And usually what happens or how it happens will look nothing like you’ve imagined or wanted. So instead of putting all your weight into your basket of blueprints, lean into what’s in front of you now. Business. Friends. Family. Partner. Passions. Whatever. The nectar of life will always be in the now. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday.
5. Life is all about the stretch.
Whatever challenge you're facing right now will either stretch you or break you. Most people allow situations and relationships to break them. But it’s because they don’t believe they have a choice. We must accept our situations completely, with honesty, knowing there is a lesson in there some where. The decision to seek this lesson fearlessly is what will either determine whether you grow and thrive—or fall into a depression, addictions, live with anger and resentment and feel hopeless and less than. Resisting will always break you. Acceptance—practicing forgiveness, love, and gratitude—will always stretch you.