As of recent, I find myself often starting my posts the same way; apologizing for a long absence and giving excuses as to why I haven’t shared anything recently. Instead of giving an excuse, I decided it would be best to open up and simply update you as to why I’ve been absent as of late.
The past couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with more downs than ups. I’ve really been fighting with my own insecurities, attempting to stay on top of them, failing in the process and struggling with personal demons that keep saying that I’m not good enough and I will never be. Thoughts such as: “Why do you keep doing this? No one cares about the work you do. Stay in your lane!” You know those negative thoughts that we all berate ourselves with from time to time. These feelings started affecting my work and writing became yet another task that I was not accomplishing. Ultimately, I found it difficult to get out of my head and out of my own negative bubble. Outwardly I portrayed an image that everything was fine, smiling and conversing with friends and family like I’m all good and not shedding light on my personal struggles.
Not only did my work suffer, but my ability to take care of myself was not a priority. Things like cooking a well-balanced meals weres like pulling teeth. I started spending money unnecessarily on junk/”comfort” foods, and forget about making it to the mat! There was no time for yoga and meditation in my agenda. My self-esteem which was already far from high took a hard hit. I felt trapped in a self-inflicted state of misery.
After weeks of being miserable for no reason, it was time to get to the root of the problem. I decided to do things differently by taking an altered approach to the way I usually self-reflect. I went back and looked at some of my past work and sought clarity from some of my favorite wellness blogs. I also tuned into my self-talk and actively listened to the thoughts which were constant in my mind.
It became clear that not only was I not taking my own advice, but I failed to recognize my successes. There were no valid reason to feel as low as I did. It came down to noting that I didn’t give myself enough of a break and wasn’t mindful of the accomplishments I’ve achieved thus far. Half the year is already gone and my lettering work has improved immensely yet, I looked at myself as a shitty designer. In my day job, I’ve slowly transformed the way things were done in the past and worked out a system to create better flow in the day, yet I still saw things as disjointed and unorganized. I put into action a plan to pay off my bills while making room to save money and treat myself on occasion but still felt as though I was lacking, when I really wasn’t.
Essentially, I had created a false narrative of my life in my mind. My perception of reality was not as I imagined it to be. I wasn’t living in the moment and accepting things for how they truly were. The real demon was my failure to recognize my self-worth and accomplishments.
Self-compassion is the idea of treating yourself in the same way you would a dear friend who needed help or comfort; of being compassionate to yourself and knowing when to give yourself a break. This important lesson I learned from Dr. Kristin Neff helps remind me that I need to be gentler to myself, especially when it comes to the mind. Self-compassion helps me notice when my own toxic thoughts are splaying into the way I perceive the day, and myself, or even the way I function.
When I decided to take on all the goals I set for myself this year (365 days of lettering, blogging, and becoming a sustainable minded human being), the goal was to gain a better understanding of self; to define who I am and define my own happiness. I know that staying positive can be work, a lot of work for that matter, but in the end it really does take the same amount of energy to stay positively minded vs negatively minded.
Staying positively minded all starts with your inner thoughts and treating yourselves with a little care and compassion. Sometimes you have to ask yourself “where’s my head at?” Where are my thoughts focused on? Does this state of mind actually match my reality? Am I giving myself the love and attention I need? Am I being compassionate towards myself? In asking myself these questions I was able to pinpoint where my pain and suffering were coming from.
I want to learn more about the practice of self-compassion so I went and found Dr Neff’s book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself at my local library. Once I finish reading I’ll be sure to give a review of it and share my thoughts with you all. I look forward to the next post and I feel refreshed knowing that I am on the right track. We are all flawed human beings in some way and that’s fine. As long as we stay focused and check in with ourselves on occasion, I believe we can do some amazing things with our lives. See the glass as half full vs half empty! Till next time folks!