This week, we’re sliding into the #mindsetmatters portion of Self-care September, and we’re starting by replacing judgement with curiosity.
Learning to replace judgment with curiosity is about shifting your perspective. It’s about approaching a situation from a more positive and productive outlook, one that takes into account how a situation might be happening FOR you instead of TO you.
Judgment is a burden. It’s heavy to hold, emotionally draining, and drenched in negativity. It is also petty and closes us off.
Judgement assumes we know everything there is to know about a situation, when that is so rarely actually true.
Enter the freedom of curiosity. Curiosity is, essentially, a state of mind. Being curious is being joyful. It is lighthearted, open and inviting, buoyed in wonder.
A world of possibilities exists if we take the time to be more curious. To ask a few more questions, to be a bit more thoughtful, to be open to more and different ways of thinking and being, and to be more generous with others.
Shifting your perspective really is that powerful, that simple, and that life changing.
Today, and every day moving forward this month, notice where you habitually start to judge yourself or others, and check in with what it feels like to get curious about the situation instead.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that direct thought patterns and evoke a positive state of mind.
Research shows if you change your thoughts, you can change your life.
Change is always possible, but some changes happen more easily than others. Affirmations alone can’t produce a complete turnaround in every situation, and if your affirmation focuses on a statement you don’t accept as true, it may have little effect.
Simply repeating “I am a gazillionaire” to yourself all day long isn’t going to grow your bank account, you know what I mean?
Affirmations tend to have the most benefit when they center on specific traits or realistic, achievable changes you’d like to make to those traits.
“I am open to new ways of increasing my financial abundance” might be a more believable fit if your financial health happens to be a focus of yours.
While affirmations aren’t meant to be a cure-all for every ingrained negative belief we’ve been conditioned to hold, the practice of repeating them *can* activate the reward system in your brain, which can have an impact on the way you experience both emotional and physical pain.
Basically, can’t hurt, might help.
Today, and every day moving forward for the rest of the month, choose an affirmation that rings true for you, and let it become a mental refrain. Watch what happens.
Today, your mission - should you choose to accept it - is to list out 100 ways that life has delighted you and/or gone perfectly right lately.
Why? Because you will always experience what you choose to believe so if you believe the world can - and will - delight you, then that will be the experience you have.
Science suggests that doing a daily happiness practice, like listing all the ways life delights us and/or is going smoothly, can actually rewire the brain by increasing and prolonging activation in pathways that signal pleasure.
The more we do it, the better we get at noticing, remembering, and seeking sources of goodness in our lives. The lens through which we see the world becomes more optimistic and hopeful, we judge other people as more trustworthy, and we’re more inclined to cooperate.
100 might sound like a lot at first, but as you practice noticing all the ways things are always working out for and around you, you’ll realize you can break it down reeeeeaaaaalllllll small.
💛Did you open your eyes in a place that protected you all night long?
💛Get yourself out of bed without help?
💛Is there electricity? Running water? A toilet that flushes? A hot shower just for you?
💛Do you have a way to feed yourself and your family multiple times throughout the day?
💛Did your car start…are the trains running…did you make your flight…did you remember your sunnies, your keys, your lunch?
Like that. Stripping life down to the basic fundamentals illustrates exactly just how smoothly things are actually going.
Ignore the bits and pieces of subtext that float to the surface, suggesting you might be silly, frivolous, or naive to bother glimpsing at the world through rose-colored glasses like this.
Just for today, we’re going to let all that go and practice letting it be easy. Choose your belief to choose your experience.
This is a #selfcareseptember staple - I take the opportunity every year to reinforce the critical need to stop the glorification of busy and take a damn break once in a while.
It’s why work weeks need weekends.
It’s why workout programs need rest days.
It’s why baseball games have the 7th inning stretch, football games have halftime, and Broadway shows have intermissions.
It’s why there was no post here yesterday.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Rest is a fundamental part of productivity. Relaxation is a necessary component of success. Taking regular breaks is vital for better mental health, increased concentration and improved memory, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, improved mood, and even a better metabolism.
Today, and every day going forward for the rest of the month, take a break. It can be two minutes, 20 minutes, two hours, or the whole entire day. Take what you need.
Remember, you do not need to “earn” rest - you are inherently deserving of it.
This is actually one of the mottos of my marriage - my husband and I always expect the Best Possible Outcome, and we always look for ways to Let it be Easy, whatever “it” may be.
Today, and every day going forward for the rest of the month, stop overcomplicating what doesn’t need to be complicated.
Stop struggling unnecessarily. Stop relentlessly pushing back against what IS.
It’s exhausting and depleting, and it doesn’t need to be happening.
Just let go. Change the pattern.
Keep it simple. Keep it easy.
Reclaim your energy for things that light you up, that bring value and joy and serenity to your life.
Letting it be easy isn’t about ignoring hardship or dodging reality, it’s about releasing resistance and choosing peace.
How can you choose peace today?
Where can you just let it be easy?
As they say, the only way out is through.
Our emotions provide us with important information. They are messengers, even the ones we prefer to avoid feeling, like fear, shame, and sadness. But the tougher it is to sit with a particular emotion, the more likely it is that that emotion carries key details about our emotional wounds, details we need to move through our pain.
We can think of that tough emotion as an invitation to the parts of ourselves that crave healing. If we continue to run away from it, it will only get louder until it demands our attention.
Sure, sometimes it can hurt to heal, but it ALWAYS hurts to stay stuck in negative emotional loops from past trauma and old wounds.
So ask yourself, do you choose an endless repeat cycle of hurt or do you choose to really feel the intensity of an emotion in the name of healing, closure, and moving on?
Remember, transformation happens inside the pain.
Be brave, take courage, and let your emotions serve as guideposts to stronger emotional health.
Next up, Week 4: Let's Get Organized!
Review Week 1: Back to Basics here
Review Week 2: Nutrition Nuggets here
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