You just can't be negative when you're wearing a My Little Pony dress. Seriously-you can't!
Hey all! I'm back! I've been away from this series for around 2 months due to illness, a hectic schedule, and a few things I needed to address in real life. But I'm back and am chomping at the bits to get back to this series! As I've acquired a few more followers and readers in the time off from this series, let me explain where I'm coming from with this series and what it is. First off, it makes my skin crawl to only focus on the aesthetics as I believe that beauty comes from within, and equally important that feeling beautiful on the outside only goes so far if something negative is happening from within. Who do I think I am though in terms of giving advice? All I can say is that I learned a lot from enduring multiple deaths of loved ones, multiple health issues, moving around a bit, and way more "common problems" like sucky friends and relationships gone awry. In order to keep my head above water I had to always look from within to improve my life and I believe the lessons I've learned are universal enough to pass on to all of you. Additionally I started this series on the 6 month mark of my heart surgery gone bad, and if you click that link you can read more about both the surgery and more of the nitty gritty details as to why I started this in the first place.
I've changed one thing though: instead of jumping around from week to week with different topics, I've decided to dedicate each month to a specific topic and each week of that month I'll divide and conquer different areas of that topic.
With it being January, it seemed super obvious to talk about removing negativity from one's life! If you think about it, all New Year's resolutions are about improving one's life, but in reality it's not always as easy as just striving to be better as we sometimes have subconscious blocks that prevent us from successfully getting to the place we want to be in life. THIS week I want to address some of the stuff that's simple and totally within our own power, but often overlooked when it comes to giving our lives a makeover. Shall we dive in?
Watch your language and how you communicate-especially when it comes to name calling.
So much of how we're perceived is based on how we present ourselves to the world, which is often based on how we speak. I think this is an important bullet point for this post because it's so hard to be aware of how we come across with to the world, and because of that it can cause a lot of confusion and frustration. There's a lot of people in life who are perfectly lovely individuals but for some reason they feel like they're not adored, respected, or sought after enough. Sometimes these kind of disconnects can be about a lack of confidence or from surrounding yourself with negative people, sure. But ask yourselves, do you say "um" a lot? Do people often ask you to speak up or say "what?" when you're speaking? Are you aware of your surroundings, in the sense that when you are at a fancier event or meeting people for the first time you're aware that dropping the "f bomb" is probably a bad idea? These ideas sound so simple and like seem common sense, but frankly I believe all of us have room to grow-at least once at one point in time in our life-with how we communicate with our world. If you feel like you may be misunderstood, that's what Google or YouTube is for! You can literally search anything and find a forum or an expert in any given topic who wrote an article or posted a video about how to improve an area in your life that you feel stuck on-not limited to communicating. None of us are born with manuals, but we're very lucky to be living in the age that we are in because so much information is at our finger tips 24/7/365. The more you present yourself in a clear and appropriate manner, the better people will respond to you and the more other areas of your life will likely also improve.
On a related note, name calling should never be a thing in your vocabulary. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a former sinner of this rule. I wouldn't go as far as to say I was a "mean girl" when I was younger, but at moments I absolutely had a loud bark-as a lot of younger and more insecure girls do. (Do any secure girls name call? Answer: No.) I can't even pinpoint when I realized name calling was such a bad idea per say, but I can tell you that it helped me use my words more intelligently both to people's faces when a conflict arose as well as when I had to vent to a friend about someone who was bothering me so I could see if I could work out the issue on my own. It also helped my radar be more astute in picking out friends and boyfriends that had a better influence on my life because I became more sensitive and intolerant towards people who would feel empowered by calling someone a bitch or another equally nasty name. Think about it, if you're already mad at someone-for legitimate reasons or not-why cut them down further? That gives them too much power over you and lowers yourself to their standards. Why get blood on your hands? And if you surround yourself with people who don't go that low when emotional, there's a great chance they'll never be hostile or immature towards you when a conflict arises. Talk about lowering your stress! Living above the line ALWAYS helps you out, so do it-whether you think it applies to your 2015 goals/resolutions or not. Name calling is a huge road block towards living a successful life-as is not communicating effectively!
Do stuff from within and never from an external motivation.
Isn't this the most popular time of year to join a gym because so many people want to to lose x amount of pounds or get into whatever size they deem desirable because it's a brand new year? First, let me level with you: I'm not immune to feeling bad about my body, especially in the past (...another story for another day. I mean really though, is there a woman out there that doesn't have a coming to terms with their body and/or weight story?? Doubtful...) That said, I got a helluva a lot more comfortable and dedicated to working out and eating healthy when it came from a place of wanting to be healthy and not a place of wanting to look a certain way. I now run, do yoga, and lift weights at the gym because it clears my head, helps me sleep better, and keeps me from going into a negative headspace (endorphins are your friend, y'all!). While I occasionally have a few weeks in a row where I eat too much fast food and find M&Ms to be a perfectly suitable breakfast food, what breaks me out of that rut has nothing to do with my body image but everything to do with eating food that's unhealthy after a while makes me feel...well, unhealthy! When I was in a ED mind frame (yup) or even just in a healthier frame of mind trying to eat healthy for reasons having to do with vanity, I never, ever, ever craved a salad, mushrooms, or hard boiled eggs. Now that I eat healthy to feel healthy, it's 100% changed my relationship with food. I get super excited when I remember I still have some brown rice, quinoa, and eggs (with seasonings) mixed together in my fridge that I can reheat later for dinner. Change your mental dialogue and it'll change your habits and even tastebuds. Trying to work out and eat right to be a certain body type will always end up in failure, whether it comes sooner or later. Not to mention, how miserable is life when you're doing things that will (allegedly) only bring happiness in the future but in the present you feel bad about yourself? Being healthy for health's sake makes present you happy-and future you happier and healthier! Accepting that you're beautiful at whatever weight you are but choosing to take care of yourself from within is always going to be your healthiest bet-regardless of any fitness or personal goals.
This mentality works for other things too. Want to work on singing and getting out there this year? Do it because you love it and don't focus on wanting success for it. Starting a fashion blog or any kind of blog? Focus on the passion of your topic and don't worry about finding an audience-you will find one quicker if you're having fun and you won't stress as much along the way. The same thing goes for people influencing your life. Want to find love and possibly get married in 2015? Do it because you're ready for the commitment, companionship, and union. Don't go on a hunt for that stuff because you feel you're "at a certain age" or all of your friends are getting hitched. Same idea with jobs, education, vacations, and other things that can look enticing from the outside regardless if you're ready to make those jumps. Do things for you...not because you feel you have to. You'll end up in a way better place at the end of the day-and be happier in the journey that leads you to wherever you're going.
Take inventory on the people in your life!
This one is tricky and delicate, but it's the truth. 3 years ago I was at the height of my social butterfly way of life. I had 4 friend groups and several one on one friendships. In April of 2012 some weird things started happening within one of my friend groups and it was a situation where it was sadly becoming obvious that I should walk away from them, as some not so nice behaviors were ensuing and frankly...it was starting to look a little nasty! Old Blair would have fought for the friendships due to nostalgia and a fear of losing people from my life, but right about this time I was diagnosed with a particular bad case of anemia and didn't have the energy to fix some of those friendships. This scared the crap out of me, as I was so used to fighting for everything in my life and I had a huge fear of never wanting to be alone or feel rejected (hence I had 4 friend groups to occupy my time). So I didn't make any moves to keep the friendships afloat, my old friends (mostly) didn't reach out either, and the friendships dissipated. And guess what? I think it all worked out for the best! I don't wish these people any harm and I choose to focus on the good times when they do cross my mind (genuinely), but by the end of our reign as friends some of those friendships were a lot more work than I bargained for and were giving me various frustrations, even if it was on a subconscious level that I wasn't totally exploring until there was a reason to walk away. Once the dust settled it felt like a weight was off my shoulders not worrying about trying to keep up with this friend group that no longer served me and my values. I (finally) realized not everyone is meant to be in your life for forever...and that's OK.
Now, I'm not saying you should jump ship with everyone whenever the going gets rough. A lot of friendships and relationships naturally ebb and flow and are worth fighting for. But me being too sick to force a square into a now circle with my former friends taught me a valuable lesson, which is that if people don't have your back, it's best to (gracefully) walk away. Ever since then I have been through more health battles and other life situations that have made it all the more clear to me who's in my corner for real versus who's all fun and lovely... but maybe not the "greatest friends". After this year, I'm the happiest I've ever been socially because I feel truly engaged, loved, and respected by the people in my life-and I feel the same way about them! It's so much more simple and drama/stress free. Friendships (and relationships!!!!) should be about adding to your life. If you're always fighting, feeling left out, feeling unheard, or worse feeling disrespected...take inventory and think long and hard about if some people in your life maybe don't need to be there as closely as they are. Ripping off the band aid is always the worst part, but once you recover from the sting you'll be wondering why you didn't do it sooner! DON'T burn a bridge if you do end up finding that some people are worth walking away from please (they have feelings too and you never know how you may find each other again in life), but it's definitely worth finding a graceful exit if certain people in your life are bogging you down.
These quotes (I believe) are ones to live by and will always help get you to where you need to be in life, regardless of what life throws at you:
"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Gandhi
"Treat others how you want to be treated."- This "Golden Rule" has multiple sources so I'm not going to quote a singularly one
"To find someone you love, you gotta be someone you love."- Nada Surf
"Seek to understand, and then to be understood."- unknown
I really and sincerely hope everyone has an awesome 2015 where you all get what you want and need out of life. We all deserve it, no? But any positive change has to come from ourselves and our actions, from within, and with honest self reflection and good deeds for it to be a permanent change. I hope something I said helped and regardless of whether or not you knew these points already that you are that much closer to removing negativity in your life!
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Twitter- @ LaurenBlair23