When I decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia, i had no idea what was in store. I had high expectations of the time we’d spend, the memories we’d make and the love we’d share. Ha! Not to say that we didn’t share many moments to be remembered I just found myself in the most uncomfortable state I’ve ever been in. Daily I would try to remind myself every reason I decided to move. With every thought came a reason I could back “home” and get comfortable again. I slipped into a long week of depression. I ate less and slept more and felt tears welling behind my eyes at each passing thought. A month went by and then two and I felt myself settling into the newness of this life. Although my thoughts began to subside I still felt off-balance. My sleep patterns where way off, I slept very little at night and carefully climbed in and out of bed as my partner slept peacefully. The anxiety of what was to come was keeping my up and keeping my mind busy with chatter. I decided since I wasn’t working I would go for a visit home to San Diego to reset and refocus.
Being in my home away from home I found myself yet again. I did things that made me happy, I spent time with souls that matched mine, I laughed, I drank great wine and spent the evenings staring at the California moon. I felt myself come back to life. The parts of me that had been buried deep under anxiety began to resurface and my zest for life was strengthened.
I realized in these moments of quiet I spent away from my partner that in order for me to remain in complete harmony and balance that I have to take care of myself. This goes far beyond the physical realm and digs deep into the cellular and soulular level (yes I made that up :p.) When I say Cellular I mean on neurological level, whereas my body is given the proper nutrients to function properly. This means that my energy levels are up, I’m functioning at a level that is energetic,uplifting and positive in my thoughts. When I say a SOULular level I mean simply, feeding my soul. Doing things as a daily routine that strengthen me and bring my back to alignment to allow an abundant flow of energy. I decided that my return home to Georgia that I would go back with an entire new mindset. One that did not allow me to feel sorry for myself. I made a list of self-care rituals that I was to follow for the first 14 days of me being home. They are as follows;
1.Mirror exercise (14 days straight) I did this exercise in a deep tissue class while completing my massage therapist license. It was designed to have you stand naked in the mirror and look beyond what you see. Study your body, take account of what you feel when looking at your body and embrace all that you see.
My Experience– Doing this exercise has gotten me to accept more of my body than I had previously. I learned to tell my hips, thighs and belly that I love them daily and appreciate the work they do to sustain my being. I began to tell myself I love YOU and mean it wholeheartedly.
- “I AM” exercises (14 days straight)- This exercise is designed to do a few minutes of “I AM…” exercises to get the positive juices flowing. Whatever you put after “I AM is said to be a direct communication with a universe that is so faithful and giving. I record 5-10 min of sentences that stem from “I AM beautiful, I AM positive, I AM excited for work… to I AM Light, I AM open to what the universe has to offer” all of which are true statements of my heart’s desire. When we speak it we believe it.
My Experience- I did this exercise in the morning usually just to get my mind in the right place before starting the day. Not only does it positively affirm who you are to the universe but it affirms it to yourself. When we spend time honoring and acknowledging WHO we are versus WHAT we WANT or what we DON’T HAVE we leave space for the mind to awaken. I found this exercise to be rewarding as it set the tone for positivity for the day.
- A selfie a day keeps the negativity at bay (14 days straight)- I started doing this exercise and referring it to friends a few years ago. It started as documenting my mood each day by taking a selfie and getting at least one smile in a day. In doing so I began to study how my eyes look when im tired or rested, how my smile feels when im overworked or well rested, the light in my face if its dim or bright as ever. Pictures can really help you to feel better or worse if you allow it.
My Experience – I love this exercise not just for the picture aspect but for what it brought out of me. Before I began working here in Georgia I had little desire to get myself cleaned up for the day. This exercise allowed me the freedom to get up and show up. This meant putting a little mascara on, doing my wild and crazy hair and smudging my lips with my favorite shade of lipstick. I found that snapping a few pictures of myself helped to make me feel good about myself. I had a chance to play with different angles, try a new smile or smirk and find the lighting that allowed me to shine. These pictures were solely for me, not to post or seek validation from anyone, they simply were a reminder to myself of my light.
- 5-10-minute meditation (14 days straight)- It is common knowledge of the wide range of benefits of meditation. It brings calmness to the mind-body and spirit. By quieting the mind, the soul can easily be seen and heard. Increased mind control and increased awareness are just a few of the many benefits of meditation. This short time of meditation has the ability to alter the minds perception of reality in a positive light.
My Experience- Meditation has never been easy for me but I find joy in practicing and getting better over time. This exercise was one that I would do while taking a bath or right when I wake up I take a few minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness. This has helped me to be less hard on myself and be more aware of my reactions to the things around me. Its allowed me to play in the quiet spaces of a busy mind.
- 5 minutes of Freedom (14 days straight)- I started doing this exercise roughly 6 years ago. It’s an exercise that allows you to journal for 5 minutes with little thought applied to the subject. Pen to paper and go. It’s that simple. It allows the thoughts to just flow and take whatever twists and turns they may. The beauty comes in the purging of thoughts that you didn’t know were holding you in some way.
My Experience– I love this exercise because it allows me to really rid my mind of thoughts that have been circling my mind. Its becomes a moment of freedom. I always give my self-space when doing this to vent but also to heal and relish on the positivity of the lesson at hand. Focusing on shifting your mindset from a negative one to a positive one and writing about it allows the mind to create more positivity just because it feels so damn good.
After spending 14 days of taking care of my mind-body and soul, I felt a shift. A shift that allowed me to settle in to my new home. It allowed me to release any and all expectations I had prior to the move. I loved myself once more because I cultivated a relationship with myself. I say all of this to say that somewhere between Texas and Georgia I forgot who I was and what I’m capable of. I became dependent, needy, off-balance and irrational. This was all due in part of me not honoring my process and my truth and giving myself space to adjust. Doing these SOULular self-care rituals has given me something to look forward each day. They provided me with so much clarity and understanding and for that I became grateful. Now that I’ve completed my 14 days I now focus on maintaining. I still do the “I AM” affirmations daily because it makes me feel good to start my day with positive thoughts. I’ve finally adjusted to my life in Georgia and to living with my partner, it’s starting to really feel like home here, I think I’ll stay awhile.