I will, forever,
Leave my mark.
I will not be silenced by your rigidity.
I will not be made to feel less,
Because your view differs from my own.
I will stand proudly,
In admiration of who I am becoming.
I will not be erased.
I will no longer be chained,
By guilt that you told me to carry.
I will no longer suffer,
Because of who I once was.
I will no longer,
Live in fear of opinion.
Instead I will be brave,
A force to be reckoned with.
I will not be erased.
I am not perfect,
Made millions of mistakes.
They do not define me,
I am not them.
I am resilient,
I am a warrior.
I will not be erased.
I have carried the weight of loss,
Guilt, sadness, brokenness.
Yet, still I remain.
I will not be erased.
If I weren’t here to speak my truth,
Would it be easier for you?
Easier to live,
As if your views are the only ones that count?
Easier to prove,
Your reality is the only truth?
Easier to silence,
Your own souls attempt to awaken you,
From unconscious slumber?
I am not here to make things easier.
I am here,
To live my truth.
I will, forever, leave my mark.
I will not be erased.
I will honor my body.
I will love the skin I’m in.
I will no longer compare my body to another woman’s.
The journey I have been on is my own, no one else can know the darkness I have caused my body to endure, no one else can know the light that shines through me regardless of that darkness.
I will no longer look in the mirror and cringe. I will embrace my flaws.
I will no longer be controlled by body image. We are all just star dust, in this imperfect human form.
I will be ok with where I am, no matter what the scale says. No matter what society says.
I will leave behind detrimental thinking patterns that have caused me to focus solely on my outward appearance. What a waste of time that is.
I will begin using that time to tend to matters of the soul. Striving everyday to grow, to be a better human, to love BIGGER.
I will love myself.
I will love my reflection in windows as I pass by, not because I am super model status, but because I am so much more.
I am me.
I am love, I am beauty, I am fearless.
I will not be constrained by what society calls beautiful. I will wear what I want, when I want, with no apologies.
I will no longer be a slave to the scale. That number isn’t real. What is real, is the magic that dwells inside me.
I will no longer call myself names or criticize myself. Goddess knows, there are enough critics running around, why add to that?
I am not fat, I am not saggy, I am not cellulite, or stretchmarks, or wrinkles, or gray hair.
I am amazingly me. Unique in all I think and say and do. I will revel in my uniqueness.
I will no longer guilt myself into doing things that I don’t enjoy. I will listen to my body.
There are days I want to lift heavy things, days I want to do yoga, days I want to hike, and then there are days I want to lie on the couch all day, cuddled up with a good book and some chocolate.
I give myself permission to do ALL of those things.
I will do them when I want, how I want, and without feeling a damn bit guilty about it.
It is okay for me to go to the gym, & equally okay for me NOT to go to the gym. Okay to practice yoga, while just as okay NOT to practice.
I will listen to my body and give it what it needs. Whatever that need may be, in that moment, on that day.
I am ever-changing, as is my body, there is no one size fits all life. I am realizing this now…
I will love me.
I will take long baths, naps, and walks in the sunshine.
I will fuel my body with nutrients that make me feel alive. I will have greens and vitamins and shakes.
I will also lavishly enjoy chocolate, wine and southern cooking.
I will find my own truth.
I will find my own balance.
I will no longer force my body to endure brutal workouts day in and day out in pursuit of perfect muscle definition. Because, what good is a perfect body if it is carrying a broken soul?
Instead I will move in ways that make me happy, simply to say thank you to my body for how amazing it has been to me.
I will take care of myself.
I will rest, I will meditate, I will sit in silence.
I give myself permission to howl at the moon, to dance around naked, to be unceremoniously wild.
I will love me.
I find myself in such a grateful place right now….blown away by gifts from the Universe…
(btw Universe, I’m totally OPEN for MORE!)
In my pursuit of raising my vibrations, I bought an awesome goal-setting workbook, (Leonie Dawson’s My Shining Life…& no I didn’t get paid to plug her, she is just super amazing!!).
One of the workbook pages is dedicated to your word for the year.
I skipped this page at first, not sure what my word would be.
Then it started to happen…
Don’t you love it when you start seeing a word over and over??
I began hearing it, reading it, seeing it….EVERYWHERE!
Finally, I was like, “Okay, Universe, I hear ya!”
So, I chose the word abundance.
I have made that my focus.
Small town, poor, country girl who has struggled to keep her head above water, focused on abundance?!?!?
Don’t mind me I’m just happily riding my unicorn, focusing on ABUNDANCE.
My husband says I like to live in my own “bubble”. Truth is, he’s right.
But let me tell you…this awakening that I am going through. This realization of who I really am, accepting that I create my own reality, the realization that now is all we have, the realization that I am not my mind, but instead I CONTROL it….
Those realizations led me to decide that I’m alright…
It’s okay to live in my bubble, to ride my unicorn, to focus on the good, to accept and receive freely from the Universe. Since making that decision…
Life has been AMAZINGLY different.
A weight was lifted. I have a peace in my soul, that I cannot really explain.
I haven’t won the lottery. I haven’t been enlightened like the Buddha. I haven’t been speaking to any burning bushes. Yet, I am experiencing waves of peace and happiness on such a deep level.
There is also an excitement present, a buzzing under my skin, a constant expectation of something good.
Let me be real…
I still have bad days. I still have melt downs. There are still times I want to run screaming for the hills.
I’m not floating around on Cloud 9 all the time.
The difference is, those bad days are happening much less often.
The difference is, I can shake those crappy moods/feelings much quicker.
The difference is, I am learning to have my moment and then move on.
The difference is, I am more aware. I am the watcher.
So maybe it’s because of this new “awareness”?
Maybe because I am looking for it?
Maybe because I invited it into my life this year?
Maybe it is simply because I am choosing to focus on the good…
Whatever the cause may be, I am just happy to report…it’s happening…
I have been blessed with so many positive changes.
It feels like, for the first time ever, the pieces are coming together.
I realize that the Universe is conspiring for me…
The life I’ve been waiting for, has been waiting for me.
I have been slammed with SUPER intense emotions. Crashing over me like waves. I’m fine for a minute then, BAM, another hits. Maybe it was the full moon, the lunar eclipse, or the comet that passed a few nights ago? Maybe it’s just where I am in life?
All I know for certain is…
I realize, to some,this sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But it is honestly the state of my being right now. Everything in me is changing, evolving…
I am becoming more awake. More aware.
Aware of the things I have let defeat me. Aware of the thoughts that have held me prisoner. Aware of the negativity that I allowed to permeate everything around me.
I am seeing with fresh eyes the things that suck up my time. The things that suck up my soul.
I am awakening to the collective unconscious. The societal voices that become our inner monologues.
I am seeing that I have allowed those voices to steal my confidence, my joy, my passion.
I am awakening to the lies that I have believed simply because generations before me accepted them as truth. I now cringe at the “that’s the way great-great-granny did it” mentality.
I am waking up to see that it is sometimes the comfort of the lies that hold us back. We have become afraid to rock the boat. Some of us have let our own voice grow silent, adopting instead the voice of complacency.
I see now the time wasted, never to be regained, on the belief that we need to follow societal norms. We live in fear of doing something “wrong”, messing things up.
I see the lie of perfection. The desire for perfection, in all things, cripples us. We want perfect hair before our pictures. We need the perfect shoes for our outfits. We won’t be happy with our body, with our lives, until we reach our goal(s).
I no longer believe the lie that we must “climb the ladder” to succeed. The need for titles behind our names & signs in front of our parking spaces. Just more lies.
I pray to never again be convinced of the importance of these pretensions.
I am hopeful that each day I will continue to become more aware, more awake.
I hope to become a better version of me each day simply by laying down things that no longer serve me and making room for new and healthy thought patterns and life habits.
I vow to escape the deception of perfection. In fact, I will avoid striving for perfection at all. Instead focusing on growth in every area of my life.
I will be me bravely, with intentions of failing boldly in MANY endeavors.
I have so many things to be grateful for in my life yet, this is the most important thing I have ever done. It is not easy to change your old thoughts, old habits. It is not easy to let go of things that you identify as “yourself”, but it is so rewarding.
Striving to become more awake, more aware, has changed/is changing every aspect of my life. I realize now, that striving to be the best version of me is so important. It’s not selfish or self-serving. Working on me, gives me the strength to be there for others.
This awareness has begun to overflow into every detail of my life. Becoming a better me allows me to be a better mom, wife, friend….PERSON.
Stepping back from old thought patterns, becoming accepting of the way things are, letting in more light and love into my life…these are the things I am most grateful for today.
I know you’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it.
I had heard it fifty gazillion times. I had read The Secret, I had read the scriptures about the power of the tongue. I knew about speaking things that weren’t as if they were. I was (still am) a quote junkie. I had quotes taped all over our house.
Yet, even with all that knowledge floating around, even with inspirational quote overdose… for years my life remained a collection of trials, pain, suffering and lack.
I was barely keeping my head above water.
Until one day I couldn’t. I just couldn’t tread water anymore….
I began to sink. I sank and sank. Deeper and deeper.
I felt like I was living in a hole. My life consisted of going to work, then coming home to sleep. That was it. That was my life. I occasionally returned a text or call from a close friend, just so they wouldn’t send out a search party. Other than that, I was a hermit. I didn’t leave the house. That would take too much energy. On the rare occasion that I did find the energy, my anxiety was too fierce to allow me to leave the safety of my hermit shell. I became so sad. And tired. I quit going to the gym. My yoga mat, stored carefully in the corner of my bedroom, grew dusty from disuse. I stopped drawing, I stopped journaling, I stopped painting.
I stopped living.
Life was passing me by. With each day spent in my self-imposed prison, I grew more desperate. I cried. A lot. I sat in the dark in my closet, one of the only places I could silence the anxiety. I slept. And slept. Although no amount of rest or sleep was enough to combat my lack of energy.
I began to have scary thoughts. Thoughts that said if this was all that life had to offer, I wasn’t sure I wanted it. Thoughts that told me to just accept the fact that I was going to ride these repeated ups and downs forever. I was worried about finances, I was worried about what I thought my career should look like, I was worried and guilted constantly by all my many failures.
Since checking out was just not an option (I have a basketball team of kids to think about!), checking into the nearest mental health facility seemed to be where I was headed. I was at my breaking point. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I couldn’t stand my own self.
I am thankful that I had that though because, if I can’t stand myself…who is “I”? This question would be posed (and answered) in a book I happened upon…
One day while mindlessly scrolling through the internet I discovered a video of Eckhart Tolle. I can’t even tell you where I found it, or what he was saying, but I was intrigued. Of course, Google was the first place I headed. I read a tiny blurb about this book that Eckhart Tolle had written called Power of Now. Typically, not one to make impulse buys, I did just that. I ordered the book right then and there.
My life will never be the same. I cannot tell you what that one little action has done for my life. Eckhart Tolle led me to realize that I am not my mind. That I can control my thoughts. That I don’t have to be held prisoner. That I can be free, that I can be awake.
Do I think that one book has all the answers? No. Do I think I have it all figured out now? No.
I am still working on me…I am nowhere near where I should be, where I want to be…I do NOT have it all figured out.
But for the first time in my life I am finally seeing the power of positivity first hand. The change that comes when focus goes from the bad to the good. The awesomeness that happens when I choose to be the watcher of my thoughts and emotions.
Since this tiny revelation, of being the “watcher”, BIG changes are happening. EXCITING changes. POSITIVE changes. The grass seems greener, the sky bluer…I am able to let more just roll right off my back. I am better able to just accept what is. To lean into the discomfort and just breathe (sound familiar yogis?).
I worried that I would never find a way to be a mom, and a nurse, a student and still work on pursuing my passion (building my own company). I didn’t know if that was even possible. Was I being unrealistic?
As I began to shift my perspective. I realized that everything was going to work out. I realized that my dreams are big, but could be even bigger. There are no limits on life except the ones we give ourselves! I realized that I was going to take charge of my life. I want to be limitless! I decided I would take steps every day to get me closer to my goals.
One way or the other, I was going to keep pressing forward. Being positive, being relentless in my pursuit of my purpose, watching my thoughts and emotions.
Guess what guys? It’s happening!!!! Positive vibes are coming at me from everywhere! In fact, an opportunity landed in my lap just today that will bring much needed balance. An opportunity that will allow me to continue my career, my education and pursue my passion. In fact, I am sitting here, smiling like an idiot, in shock about it to be honest.
I cannot WAIT to receive more awesomeness into my life this year!!!!!!
The more I refuse to dwell on the negative, the more positive influences I welcome to my life, the more I am amazed!
My life has ALREADY changed in ways I never thought possible. Doors are opening everywhere!
This is the scariest, yet most freeing advice I have ever gotten.
Hello, my name is Kristal, and I am afraid of failure.
I shared my fitness journey and how I spent A LOT of time hiding in the corner of the gym, on the treadmill. I had NO clue what I was doing, and I WAS AFRAID. Afraid that if I lifted a weight I wouldn’t do it right. Afraid I would look like an idiot. I KNEW that I could never be comfortable in a gym. All those skinny girls in spandex with perky booties, all those muscled-up men, all those health nuts. They were intimidating!
I was AFRAID. Afraid to try, afraid to fail.
It took someone holding my hand through the process, cheering me on, showing me that those “intimidating” people at the gym could care less if I looked like an idiot. Showing me that even if they did care, it didn’t matter. Showing me that this was about MY life, about making ME healthy.
Fast forward…. I now feel more at home in the gym than most other places. It’s my retreat. My therapy. My happy place. I didn’t fail! I worked hard, I listened, I read…I made it work for me!! I took charge of my health. I took charge of my body.
I found success in the health/fitness arena. What I didn’t do was conquer my fear of failure.
My entire life I have dreamed of becoming a writer. I have dreamed of owning my own business. I have dreamed of traveling the world. I have dreamed of making an impact by doing something that I am PASSIONATE about.
I am a chronic dreamer. I have SO many ideas ALL the time. What I lack is follow through.
Why is that?
Why have I not written the 101 novels that I have ideas for? Why have I not written the 99 children’s books that I’ve dreamed up? Why have I not started 3 companies? Why have I not traveled?
I’ve been too afraid.
Afraid that this small-town girl who grew up in poor, rural, South Carolina would never have what it takes. Afraid I was not “good enough” to be successful. Afraid I was kidding myself with my crazy ideas and dreams.
I spent my life thinking that if I could just “get by” (have a steady job, a family, a decent car, a house instead of a trailer, some semblance of peace, etc.) that would be my life. That would mean I had “arrived”.
That was a lie. A lie that I told myself. A lie that I believed. A lie that grew and grew until it became debilitating. I lie that I began to identify with. For years, I have let this lie destroy my life.
I have made many HUGE mistakes in my life. I’ve felt like a failure as a person. No matter how many successes I’ve had, no matter how many “good” things I’ve done, I could never view myself as “enough”.
I am WHOEVER and WHATEVER I decide to become. All I have is NOW. I can’t change the past. I can’t change who I am. What I can change is how I think and where I go from here.
I am determined to change my “stinkin thinkin”. I am determined to chase my dreams RELENTLESSLY. I am determined to fail.
I realize now, that I am going to have to fail. More than once! But guess what that means? It means…
I will never be an author if I don’t WRITE. I will never be my own boss if I don’t start TAKING ACTION to get me there. I will never travel if I keep telling myself it’s not a possibility for me.
Guess what?? The hand-holding I needed to get off the corner treadmill….I still need it. We all do. So I have started working on my circle. Working on my average. Working on surrounding myself with people who encourage me to chase my dreams.
I’ve realized that there is NO aspect of my life that should be passive. I have to take charge of the energies I surround myself with. I have to take charge of my goals by breaking them down into ACTIONS. I have to take charge of my writing by…well, WRITING.
When I read this quote I had TONS of thoughts. Thought I’d share a few:
There are not currently 5 people that I spend a lot of time with. I’ve become quite the hermit lately. I’ve battled depression and anxiety for the past couple months and when those dark times come, instead of doing what I know I should… reach out for support, I withdraw into myself and make as little connection with ANYONE as humanly possible. There I stay, captured by thought and a feeling of continual angst. Sounds fun right?!? Ugh.
My relationships with my loved ones are less than healthy. My relationship with my parents is strained, my relationship with my in-laws is distant (although they melt my heart and I would be lost without them), my relationship with Brent is a roller-coaster of emotion (he and I are opposites in MUCH, and while it is exciting, it is also a lot of work). I’m not very close to anyone else in my family (in any sense, location included).
In fact, as I thought about this quote I realized that I am quite the loner. Don’t get me wrong I love my alone time, but I think that is one reason I get trapped in my own head a lot. This may seem like a negative discovery, but I am thankful for awareness. I am thankful that I am discovering negative patterns in my life. I am becoming aware!
My favorite people in the whole world are such a random collective:
The ones who laugh BIG, who dream BIG, who love BIG. The square pegs that REFUSE to fit in round holes. The freethinkers. The mavericks.
I am super blessed in the friend department.
There are so many more people who I hold dear. So many people who have changed my life in positive ways. As I contemplated my “average”, I caught myself thinking about how many people AMAZING people I have in my life. Some I talk to regularly, most I don’t. Some I haven’t talked to in years, yet they remain dear to my heart. So many smiles as I think about these people. So many amazing people I have the privilege to call friend.
I am reminded of the cheesy Girl Scout song that said, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
I don’t want my “average” to be average.
I’m done with thinking small. I’m done with petty. I’m done with people who don’t love big. I’m done with drama. I’m done with settlers.
This year I vow to find and surround myself with people that I want to be like when I grow up (still haven’t decided if I EVER will). People who are making a difference. People who are spreading love and light. People who not only dream BIG, but are accomplishing BIG things.
I had a convo tonight with another freethinker. We talked about settling. We decided we have done too much of that in our lives. I just kept saying, “There has to be more.”
I believe that with my whole heart. There is more. There is life with purpose. There is life full of happiness. There is a true North for each of us to follow.
“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us…” -Maya Angelou
So powerful. The sum total. Each of us goes through this life, soaking up, basking in, running from, running toward. Life is so messy. It encircles us. Life happens to us, we happen right back. The lies we are told, the truths we refuse to hear. Each a tiny piece in the puzzle that is us. The person we become is shaped by each experience. Lives intertwine, disconnect, support, destruct. One life reverberates off another. The great silk thread that links us all. The underlying consciousness, the feeling of belonging we all search for. Life is so complicated. So complex, so diverse. That is where the beauty lies. Beauty in diversity. Beauty in each day, each moment being different than the last.
I have felt so emotional lately. I want so much more. Not stuff, not possessions. I want to help people find their own path. I want to offer happiness in a world full of discord. I want to see all the beautiful creations of Mother Earth. I want to better my yoga practice. I want to save EVERY animal. I want to spread smiles like peanut butter. I want to LIVE!
This past year has been…difficult. I have battled with dark places within myself. I have discovered negative thought patterns that threaten to ruin me. I have learned that NO ONE is perfect, and EVERY ONE will let you down at some point (and that’s ok, we are all human). I have struggled to find balance in all things. I have cried, laughed, tasted the harshness of desperation, savored moments of pure bliss.
If I am being honest, I don’t know where life will take me from this day forward. All I know is that I am going to be ok. I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have battled so much in my life and ALL I know for certain is that I WILL NOT QUIT. I WILL NOT HANG MY HEAD IN DEFEAT. I WILL NOT SETTLE FOR A LIFE I DON’T LOVE. I WILL FIND MORE.
Thank you to everyone who has touched my life this past year. Thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your criticism, thank you for helping to shape me into who I am. I am so blessed with so many awesome people in my life. I hope that you all take a little time and decide what it is that makes you tick. What is your purpose in this crazy life of ours? Once you find it…spin WILDLY in that direction! I hope this year we all LIVE life to the fullest….each and every moment! Spread love! Spread happiness! Spread laughter!! Life is too short to do anything else!
Write two incredibly good sentences. Erase. Stare at blinking cursor.
Write another sentence, unrelated to the first two. Erase.
Daydream about unicorns.
Look at Facebook. Check out Pinterest.
Think of a book idea. Add to LONG list of book ideas.
Go back to staring at blinking cursor.
Think of how many words I could have already written.
Write two paragraphs. Save in a document to come back to “later”.
Stare at list of book ideas.
Worry over which to start.