Life hasn’t always been as grand as it is today, and I’m not disillusioned to think it will stay this way.

“But I now have faith and have seen that no matter what challenges, disappointments, heartbreaks, roadblocks and endings I encounter on my path, everything is going to be okay. I’m going to be okay.”

A year and a half ago I was struggling, and I was struggling hard. I didn’t know there was a way out and what I thought was going to be my life ended up being just a season. And like all seasons, it ended. My heart healed, my faith in Life and myself was restored, and eventually I found myself standing in a new season with both feet firmly planted on the ground.

Looking back at that time, I can see that I didn’t give up and continue to throw pity parties for myself (although I probably had a few too many of them). That I still woke up everyday with a little bit of hope. I can see that I was stronger and more resilient than I originally had thought and that I have learned things about myself and life that I needed to learn. Yes, the lessons were painful, but what I’ve found is the most difficult ones are often the best ones.

There is beauty to be found in those low points of life. Those heartbreaks and struggles we have endured become a part of us. We may have wounds from them that never fully heal, and that’s okay. We can also accept those as a part of who we are and most importantly, who we are becoming.

On a daily basis, I strive to sink deeper into life, live more slowly and luscious, and intentionally show up and pay attention to what’s happening right in front of me. It’s not always easy, but the lessons I’ve learned over the past year and half do help with this.

  1. Listening to my sensitivity and using it as a guide is probably my biggest lesson. I learned how to use it to help me see what I want, what I need, and what is good for me. I have learned how to tune into my sensitivity to guide me on my journey. I feel almost immediately when something is off and not right, even if my logical brain may be saying something entirely different or justifying something. At the same time, I can feel when something is giving me life and is good for me on all levels. I had to drop deeper into my body and get really quiet to FEEL and tune into it. I feel it all in my gut…..the excitement, anxiety, grief, and joy, and I can feel immediately when something isn’t right and when it is. Getting quiet and simplifying and slowing down has helped with this. Without all the outside noise, I can tune in more quickly and easily now.

2. Saying NO is something else I’ve had to get really good at. This is strongly connected to the first lesson for me. Without using my sensitivity, I would have no idea what to say no to and also say yes to. I wouldn’t know where to place a loving boundary. I have gotten really good at saying no and if you want to live a simpler and more intentional life, I’ve found that you’ve got to say lots more no’s than yes’s. I say no to the places, people, activities, and things that don’t light me up, bring me joy, or are good for me. It is CRUCIAL to learn how to say no and what to say no to in order to create space for those things that do bring you joy.

3. Acceptance is the third lesson. I am learning each day the real meaning of acceptance. I would always throw that word around, but didn’t really know what it meant. I was still “working” on myself like crazy because I didn’t feel good enough or worthy. I thought I needed to be fixed. I thought I had to do and be more, in order to have a life that I loved or feel that I ‘deserved’ to have a life I loved. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I like myself now and even though I still feel like I don’t deserve the nice things in my life sometimes, I am getting better at accepting that I have chosen intentionally and because of this, I have co-created some beautiful things in my life.

But even though life is going well right now, I’m better at accepting that life isn’t always going to be like this. I know the next season will bring different lessons, blessings, and growth opportunities. Life is full of ups and downs and both/ands. And accepting this has helped me seek for beauty and joy even in the tough periods. I can feel both joy and suffering at once. This thought right here and getting out of all or nothing thinking has changed everything for me. Especially with myself and my flaws and my imperfections. I am flawed, just like everyone else, and it’s refreshing not to be working on myself from a place of lack. Now from a place of acceptance, growth, and curiosity, I try to become a better human.

4. Seeking beauty and joy in the mundane and in the simple things. This right here has helped me start to enjoy my life more, even when it all sort of looked like shit before. I remember feeling so down and I would try to look for beauty in the world. Not in a false positivity kind of way, but in a way that felt good and true to me. I remember eventually noticing colors and how vibrant they are in nature and certain times of the day the way the sun would hit an object. Or grabbing a warm cup of coffee in a cute cafe in Spain. Or really trying to connect with the people I was having conversations with. All of these things were hard to see at first, but I think over time I did train my mind and heart to seek for the beauty and joy in the simple and the mundane. This all helped and now it comes more naturally for me to find these small moments in life that make my heart feel a little bit warmer. Some days it may not be as easy, but once I start looking, I always find something.

 

I’d love to hear from you! What’s one lesson you’ve learned this year to help you fall deeper in love with life?