Divorce Your Excuses: 3 Ways I Made Room for My Ideal Life

On June 21, summer began. Many in the spiritual community honored Litha, or summer solstice – the longest day of the year. Yogis, like myself, celebrated the International Day of Yoga with sun salutations and great excitement. What this time of year represents is the peak energetic time to get moving on our personal goals. It is seen as another chance at a new beginning – just in case things haven’t quite worked out for you since January. To be honest, 2019 has not gone quite the way I imagined it would at this point.

In many ways, it has turned out to be so much better. Sure, I could have doubled-down on my weight loss and financial goals. Things may have been a bit less stressful had my husband not needed to be diagnosed with an incurable heart disease. However, as I reflect on everything that has happened so far, I feel pretty blessed. It just took a while for me to realize that I am.

In the whirlwind of drama that seemed to be my life when the year started, it was hard to see the bright side. Between the trips to the hospital, the emotional breakdowns, unexpected bills, workplace drama, sleep deprivation, time management failures and stress-induced binge eating, I felt like my goals became impossible as fast as I had set them. I never seemed to have the time, energy, or funds to carry out all the plans I had in mind. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t seem to gain control and create the life I wanted to live. Thankfully, right when I thought I should back-burner my entrepreneurial dreams, I had an epiphany: I have way too many damn excuses.

How I came to this conclusion you ask? Well, it just so happened that I was laying in to a couple of close loved ones (in my mind) about how they get in their own way when BOOM! I realized I was in the exact same boat. The hard truth is, I used my perceived lack of time, energy, and money as a crutch. When I finally got honest with myself (with the help of Gary Vee videos), it turned out that I have all the time in the world, I just don’t use it all productively. Same went for my finances. Sure, more is always nice, but it really boils down to what we choose to do with what we have.

When I look at the people I aspire to, I have to acknowledge that they work with the same amount of hours in a day as I do. In some cases, those people started out in a much more unfortunate financial situation as well. So what’s the difference between my struggle and theirs? That they have already made the choice to perceive the struggle in a useful way. No, this is not necessarily an easy feat and depending on where a person is in her process, there may be a lot of old ways that require sacrificing. However, the keyword in the solution is choice.

Changing my viewpoint changed everything. The lethargy and lack of motivation I had been experiencing really was my body’s way of saying that it was time for a routine change. So I added gym time back to my schedule which helped me better regulate my sleep and food cravings (which also helped me save money). The time restraints I felt turned out to be due to dedicating too much of it to things that were not aligned with my home and entrepreneurial goals. So, I started clocking out of my 9 to 5 on time. This freed up space for business planning as well as time for my dog son and my husband. It was difficult knowing that I couldn’t do anything to alter my husband’s diagnosis, but it ended up bringing us closer to each other than we ever have been. It took time, but now, we are better about planning our health goals together and supporting each other in following through. Instead of allowing my issues to send me down the path of another anxious-depressive episode, I just starting making different choices.

Yet, in order to make a choice, we must first understand that we really do have one in spite of the circumstances we cannot control. This is where our self-empowerment lies! Here are a few things that helped me shift my perception to realize the power I do have over my own life:

Practice gratitude.

It sounds virtuous but the reason why gratitude is something I practice is because it is actually a skill I needed to re-develop. So many of us in American society have been programmed to dwell on what we don’t have. This is how we are kept on the hamster wheel towards the next best thing.

Meanwhile, we damage ourselves and miss out on so much of life because we fail to take time for what’s right in front of us which is often everything we ever really need. No matter how much you attain, if you do not appreciate what you already have, it will not matter. Nothing will ever be enough.

Let go of the past.

It’s probably accurate that the majority of humans have had a traumatic experience at some point in their life. In fact, it’s pretty well accepted that hardship is inevitable and an important part of growth – although some ordeals are considered harder burdens to carry. However, we’ve seen proof time and time again of individuals who have undergone immense suffering and yet have triumphed in the face of the worst.

Although it is natural to feel pain in hard times (and even after), we cannot grow if we remain victims to these circumstances and allow them to debilitate us. Instead, we can choose to see the simple truth in these matters and allow it to teach us something. In the words of author and speaker, Steve Maraboli,

” The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. “

Petition for the future.

In my spiritual practice, there is an exercise referred to as petitioning. Put simply, petitioning is the writing down of a desired outcome as if it is already so. It is done in various forms be it vision boards and goal journals. It is also commonly done among those who, like myself, practice magic. The only thing you need is a pen and a piece of paper.

Although a seemingly simple task, it can be a challenge on several levels. When done regularly and intently, though, one can form a whole new relationship with her inner will to make things happen.

Although, I cannot control everything that happens to and around me, I find power in knowing that I have control over myself. I also realize that my growth in this is a process and I am still gaining understanding of my own full potential. I may not have all the riches and other material possessions I desire (yet) but the journey is what I live for. The millions of moments in between each milestone (this is where gratitude comes in). I see now that I am actually indeed wealthy, accomplished, loved and beautiful. And, it makes all the difference when I choose to notice all the ways in which I am already living my ideal life.

May you realize it for yourself as well. Namaste.

Let Your “Lawrences” Go

If you are an avid watcher of the HBO show “Insecure” like I am, you have probably heard about the “Bring Back Lawrence” Petition. As it turns out, fans really took to the character Lawrence, ex-boyfriend of the main character Issa Dee, played by actor Jay Ellis. He is a staple in the first two seasons but after hearing he would not be in the third, some of the audience decided to take action. And honestly, after very little thought, for me, it made perfect sense that Lawrence would not be present at this point in the story.

If you have not seen the show, beware of upcoming spoilers. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The second season of Insecure was riddled with chaos as Issa and Lawrence attempted to  recover from a dysfunctional relationship that eventually lead to Issa’s infidelity in season one. After many mistakes on both parts, they eventually ended up facing each other and having the “grown-up” talk they should have had in the first place. The apologies were well-given and heartfelt, so much so that fans expressed their desperation for the couple to reconcile. However, while it seemed as though all that needed to be said was said and all was forgiven, they parted ways and Issa went on to begin a new chapter in her life.

It seems obvious to me that when friendship is no longer an option, this is the very best way for mature adults to move on, but apparently many others did not seem to have the same sentiment. This got me to thinking, “Is this why there are so many screwed up relationships these days?” My husband and I had a long and heated debated about holding on to things sparked by our disagreement on whether Lawrence should stay and it’s amazing how much deeper of an topic this turned out to be. I discuss it in more in the video below from my YouTube channel.

I can think of so many circumstances in which issues could have been resolved if only the people involved had the courage or the know-how to let go. To be fair, this sort of behavior is often encouraged in today’s techno-world in which it’s pretty easy to stalk profiles and and read into videos and text messages. Hell, “It’s Complicated” is a common enough theme among relationships for Facebook to even recognize it as an actual status option. But keep in mind, it is an option.

But what if we learned to truly move on and cut people off? This does not have to be negative although often times it is difficult. But, would it not be worth it to be free? Why continue to chance staying stuck on the same chapter when you can simply turn the page? Or in this case, enter a new “season”. You never know, you may just make room for for an unexpected return at a better time.