Can I be honest and say that I actually giggled when I wrote the title for today's post? Your best life in FOUR easy steps. I mean come on, you've got to admit that it sounds like a tag you'd read on the cover of Prevention Magazine or Self or Women's Health. Not that there is anything at all wrong with any of those publications, on the contrary I think they often offer up useful tips. But to imagine that you can change your whole life in four steps? It's a bit wishful thinking, no?
No. It's not. And I'm saying it's not because I am not talking about your life from the outside. I'm talking about your life from the inside.
This isn't a post to suggest that if you eat these ten foods you'll burn fat, or do these five moves and you'll get J Lo's butt. Honey, you shouldn't want J Lo's butt, you should want your own and that is the point of today's post.
I've got a new writing gig coming up and one of the things I'm tasked with to prep for the show is reading the material that the show is based on - five novels to be exact. As I sat reading yesterday and my poor old eyes felt tired and wanted to close, I couldn't help but wish I was a faster reader, or that the light was better, or that I was more comfortable. Basically I had had it with reading and I didn't want to do it anymore. I remembered an old yoga practice for tired eyes where you rub your hands together vigorously to warm them up, then you cup your palms over your eyes. The idea is to block out all trace of light with your hands, then softly open your eyes and bathe them in the warmth and darkness. It works wonders, but as I stared into the manufactured darkness, something occurred to me, what if I were blind? If I were blind, I couldn't read at all! If I were blind, I would wish for the day I could have tired eyes from reading.
What I'm saying is that so much of our life is about perspective. Don't get me wrong, if I were a widowed mother with four little kids trying to escape the war torn city of Aleppo, it would be extremely difficult to see the bright side. My point isn't that it could always be worse, it's more that we have so much to be grateful for that we don't even realize.
One of my darling favourite readers Gia, commented on yesterday's post that she'd like to feel content this year and feel like she is enough, so my girl this post is for you.
I could go on at length about the works of author Brene Brown because she speaks and writes so eloquently about allowing yourself to be vulnerable and accepting that you are enough...
But I just couldn't say it better than she says it herself, so please check her stuff out. She's a super hero in my books. I would also encourage you to get out your sharpies and write "I'm imperfect & I'm enough on your palm and take your own selfie. You don't have to post it, but it sure is fun.
No, instead I want to talk to you about a recent video post that Kari Samuels made about the upcoming year, 2017 - our Universal One year. Remember? I wrote in my last post how this is our magical do-over year. We get to reset things and make the next nine years our best ever and Kari had four tips on how to do that, hence the title.
I might have fudged it a bit when I said four easy steps but they are four steps none-the-less. (I will embellish as I see fit, but you can watch the whole thing for yourself Here.)
Step number 1.You need to remind yourself - and say this out loud - there is only one me. I have unique gifts that no one else has. Express it and act on it. Don't try to be like everyone else.
In the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt: "Comparison is the thief of joy". You don't need J Lo's butt babe, your butt is great. And if you don't love it? Do a little Dancebody! That'll sort your bum out straight away.
Step number 2.Prioritize your dreams. When she first said this I was like, what? Put them in order of what dream is most important? No. That isn't what she meant Shan. She meant to make your dreams a priority in your life. We do so much for everyone else, when it comes to what we want, sometimes we just run out of gas. Not this year my pretties. Make everything you do in your life support your dreams, feed your dreams and fuel yourself.
Step number 3Practice divine selfishness. We as women especially need to learn to put ourselves first. Again, we often take care of those around us while neglecting ourselves. Teri Hatcher wrote about that in her amazing book Burnt Toast
She had this analogy that hard working moms around the world serve their families tirelessly, so how come they are always the ones who end up eating the piece of toast that got burned? It ain't right. That's always stuck with me.
If you're healthy and happy, then you can make those around you happy and keep them healthy. If you're run ragged and worn thin, how can you serve others? Short answer? You can't. So take care of you. Put yourself first.
Step number 4.Co-create with a positive outcome. I really like step number 4. What Kari is reminding us to do is so simple here. Focus on what you want. Many of us tend to focus on the worst case scenario and that's not a good idea. This year, it's time we all starting expecting things to work out for us. Imagine good things for yourself. You deserve the good stuff this life has to offer and if it really is true that the intentions we set now are going to pave a path for the next nine years, why not look a little on the bright side for a change. What do you say?
Let's step joyfully into this new year my friends. It can only do us good.