Writing and reading affirmations has given me a clear definition of how I want to live my life and why. Practicing gratitude reminds me every day how damn lucky I am. Having a morning routine helps ensure I do my best to start each day with positivity and optimism. Some days are better than others. I no longer drink to escape my low moments. I try to learn from them.
The most important change I've made is the decision to cultivate vulnerability in my life. I'm able to look at myself in the mirror and be honest and withhold judgment about who I see staring back at me. Accepting where I am right now doesn't mean I have to be in the same spot tomorrow. Vulnerability has allowed me to love myself as I truly am instead of judging myself on how well I fit into someone else's mold.
I no longer project my own self-judgment onto people and tear them down in the process. That's a guaranteed road to ruin. Accepting and loving myself lets me accept and love others in a way that celebrates our differences.
Becoming vulnerable has completely changed how I set and achieve goals. In the past, my self-loathing would boil over and I would compensate for it by setting an audacious goal for myself: "I'm going to lose X amount of pounds and have a six pack."
Then I would try to achieve it with the same thinking that had prevented me from achieving it in the first place. It was the only way I knew how to think. I'd start strong but inevitably, and before long, reality would always set in. I'd start to understand just how far away from my goal I really was. Then I would fill the space between here and there with roadblocks, obstacles, excuses.
Before long the obstacles appeared overwhelming, and quitting was the only realistic option. I'd quit and then drink the feelings of failure away.
Vulnerability has allowed me to understand it's showing up that matters most. Sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won't. But I no longer judge myself based on the outcome. I pat myself on the back for having the courage to try. I'm open to learning where I went wrong and applying the lessons to my next go-round. I'm no longer afraid to ask for help.
The only reason I felt the need to be an army of one was fear. I was so damn scared of people seeing me as weak that I weakened myself by not asking for help. The magic we can create together surpasses what we can create alone. Having the courage to confront your fears will show you that most of them will never come true. Imagine what it will do for your sense of personal power to understand you no longer have to be scared.
Ultimately it's all about the choices we make. There are no freebies. Every single one alters the trajectory of our lives in some way. Make choices that create kindness and generosity and you'll change the world for the better. Knowing you have helped someone feels wonderful. Hold the door open for someone and smile at them. Share your story. Show empathy toward someone you know is struggling. We're all in this together.
Accepting yourself as you are means accepting others as they are. You'll stop seeing yourself as above or below anyone else. We're all just human beings. By elevating others you will stand taller, but your humility will keep your feet firmly rooted to the earth.
You only have so much space in your life. The more you fill it with positivity, the less room there will be for negativity. When you understand how good creating goodness feels you'll want nothing less in your life. The negativity will just fall harmlessly away. That's what I call the Spiritual Six-Pack. It's about developing yourself spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Your physical health is but one part of the beautiful mosaic that is "you." Develop all your parts in harmony by consciously making choices that raise people up, move them forward, and help them feel safe to own their stories. Embrace that showing up is what matters most. And love yourself. You're worth it. Before you know it, you'll be fitter, healthier, and happier than you've ever been.