“To be awake is to be alive.” ~Henry David Thoreau
I am back to reality and civilization after a ten-day silent meditation in nature.
No talking. No cell phones. No technology of any kind. It was so peaceful. Exactly what I needed.
Last year was one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced. I lost everything, including myself.
I take full responsibility for my actions and decisions during that difficult time of my life. I chose to stay in a relationship fully knowing that it no longer served me. In fact, it had become toxic.
I didn’t leave sooner because we had commingled financial transactions that I wasn’t ready to walk away from.
In 2015 I decided to “choose myself,” take a financial loss, and leave.
There was no amount of money that could make me happy in that situation.
Because of all the stress I’d endured by choosing to stay in a toxic relationship for over a year, a few health issues started to manifest in my body.
For example, my shoulder and neck area was in constant knots because I was never relaxed and always stressed.
I am a big believer in the mind/body connection in which emotional, mental, and spiritual factors can directly affect our physical health and well-being. I knew I had to leave before it got worse, physically and mentally.
Our mind is capable of having huge effects on our body because our thoughts affect our neurotransmitters. Our neurotransmitters virtually control all our body’s functions, from feeling happy to regulating hormones to dealing with stress.
Therefore, our thoughts influence our bodies directly because the body interprets the messages coming from the brain to prepare us for whatever is expected.
On day nine of my meditation retreat, I had a rush of negative thoughts about the person I lived with in 2014.
Within a matter of thirty seconds my entire lower body started hurting.
There is nothing in the world that is more important to me than my health, happiness, and well-being. After ten days of going deep inside myself, I decided it was time to make some changes.
I decided to choose myself and to live. As soon as I made that choice, I became ALIVE!
ALIVE is an acronym for:
- Appreciate yourself.
- Love yourself.
- Imagine yourself.
- Validate yourself.
- Enjoy yourself.
When you appreciate yourself daily, you start to cultivate more positive energy that flows into all aspects of your life.
I started a gratitude journal. Every evening I write down five things I am grateful for. I acknowledge all my good qualities.
I take some time to write as many as I can and read them over and over. Almost immediately a positive energy starts to flow.
You have to love yourself first so you know what you deserve.
Instead of being my hardest critic, I choose to love myself every day. How can I give love and be love when I don’t feel love within?
Choosing love means embracing myself. It means embracing my good qualities and my shortcomings.
It means challenging myself to constantly grow and accept myself.
When challenges arise in our personal or business life, it exposes our (perceived) faults and fuels our inner critic.
This voice can become our primary dialogue.
But if we choose to love ourselves no matter what, we can quiet that voice.
Give yourself the permission to envision the person you want to be.
As James Altucher likes to say, “Work your idea muscle.”
Every day, I write down ten ideas (good and bad).
One day it’s personal growth ideas; the next day it’s business ideas, and so on.
I am like a child absorbed in a world of imagination and creativity.
I work toward my vision and goals. In my world, everything is possible, it’s just a matter of creativity, hard work, resourcefulness, and persistence.
Pleasure, fulfillment, contentment, and validation only come from within. You can’t find any of these things if you’re looking outside of yourself.
It’s important to know who I am. I acknowledge and accept my true, authentic self.
I don’t worry about what others expect me to be. I am true to me, and that’s all that matters.
I take full accountability for my actions and decisions, because the choices I’ve made have cultivated the wonderful life I am living today.
I know my capabilities and I am aware of my limitations.
The time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted.
Ted Nicholas once said, “I will always keep the child within me alive.”
Things have become way too serious in our modern world.
I exercise, have fun, laugh, listen to music, dance, be silly, and do what I love.
When I am in my happy place, the endorphins are pumping and supercharging me with aliveness.
Choosing to be ALIVE gave me the strength to say no to situations and people that are no longer good for me.
Saying no has given me the power to say yes to new opportunities for love, friendships, and business.
The best is yet to come.