Taking off into the new year with lite baggage; a carry-on of all the good stuff from 2020. Within this bag a metallic silver lining of recovery, discovery, nourishment, readiness, and partnership. All the stitches necessary to catapult me into the next redesign of me. My inner self is flying into this new year feeling lighter, purposeful in every step I take, beaming with steadfast joy at the abundance of blessings I have been given this year, the lioness strength to tackle anything that sits in the way of my personal growth and fulfillment, and the realization that a global pandemic can’t stop the inevitable from forming; the greatest love I have ever known.
Self-Taught Lessons from #2020
I. We all must forge a timeless subscription to choiceful solitude. To both my single and coupled ladies, never stop spending quality time with yourself and never lose the talent of being alone; those vital moments of introspection. It is so easy to get lost in the 𝘄𝗲 that you so easily forget to focus on 𝘆𝗼𝘂…and your individual path. There is something freeing about considering yourself and what makes you fulfilled. Wholeness. “Me time,” you are essential!
II. Luxurious and effective skincare does not have to cost your liver and the price of a Gucci bag. There are a new class of options, Versed and Cocokind, that will get the job done and bypass shoppers guilt.
III. Just because you are changing doesn’t mean everything and everyone around you is experiencing the same metamorphic and/or in the same way. Cut off the joy-stealers, but be patient with those you love. Specifically, blending a family is a unique process for every individual involved. If the adults don’t work together for the kids, nobody wins.
IV. Don’t take for granted connection, family, your village. Showing up for others comes in many different facets, but we all rely on our personal sphere of influence as medicine to the soul. The laughter, in-depth convos, and stress-free interactions keep us grounded and focused on living our truth with those who see us when we may be blind to our own growth.
Remember all the things we’ve done this year when the world froze. We stopped waiting for the weekend, that day off, that vacation, that opportunity, that relationship, and just made the best out of being present. We learned a new way of being. We kept growing (even when we didn’t realize it). We kept loving ourselves and others (even when we didn’t realize it). All done from home plate.
Let’s board this new trip around the sun with last year’s takeaways and the space to create more vim and vigor. #goodbaggage
Sooooooo, set your purse down, grab some soup of the day (champagne), and join me over here on my e-couch. It’s been waaay too long and we desperately need to catch UP!
As you know, my IG niche is lifestyle with a big emphasis on female empowerment, self-care, and motherhood. Why? Because I am THE person who easily neglects s e l f to care for others, i.e. family. IG is essentially a platform that functions as a stage to share, but also as my own self-reflective mini therapy sessions. Go figure…its free and fun…why not!?
Recently, I stumbled upon an article, What To Do About Toxic Positivity—The Worst Type Of Advice We Give & Get by Jenn Selby. I must say the guilt immediately flooded my thoughts after reading the final sentence. So, let’s get real with each other. Let me fill you in with the nuts and bolts instead of a Bryant Gumbel play-by-play of Selby’s article. Bascially, Instagram is saturated with positivity: quotes, inspiring messages, motivational memes, cute cat videos, etc. While it’s lovely to know the sun will come out tomorrow, being so stinkin’ positive isn’t necessarily the most beneficial way to be of service to others. Sweeping negative emotions under life’s rug to focus on the good, stops people from expressing their truth. Selby calls it “toxic positivity.” I call it, my adult life. Probably, one of the main reasons I should see an actual therapist…but I digress.
The typical canned responses: “It could be worse,” “There’s something better on the way,” “But, what’s the silver lining here?” can make those cheerleaders sound unrealistic, disingenuous, and (insert any word that physically equates to an eye-roll). Hold on. I know what you’re over there thinking. Yes, these responses are all apart of my repertoire of friend language! (But, excuse me…let’s revisit our friendly reminder—this is a no judgment zone). Back to the recap. According to the experts, this type of harmless cheerleading makes people dread sharing their newest hiccups with you. Instead, they’d rather keep it to themselves, bottled up inside, which simply breeds all things bad for the mental health of human beings.
Nobody can rid anybody of their problems with happy talk. Instead, offer folks a space to validate their feelings, normalize their problems, and just listen (zip.it.com). People are seeking help and support, they usually aren’t waiting for you to sprinkle positivity dust to rid them of their problems. We have to honor both our good and bad feelings and just sit with it. The bad ones give us vital information such as how to assess our safety, if we should challenge ourselves to accomplish something new, or if we should pause and focus on the now. Use those negative emotions to grow coping skills and resiliency for those future imminent low points that are an unavoidable part of daily life.
What did I learn from Selby’s article? I will be adding more to my IG to acknowledge all feelings, be a resource, and communicate with more empathy. I can’t solve your problems, but I can offer similar experiences or feelings by highlighting my own and providing validation that your negative thoughts are OK.
When you know better, you do better. Stay tuned, IG tribe! #alwaysgrowing
*P.S. Check out this animated video by Brené Brown. Empathy goes a long way when someone is feeling “stuck in a hole.”