I love being in love. So much so, I've spent the last 13 years of my life in relationships.
Having a boyfriend is amazing for so many reasons. The emotional support, cozy cuddles and inside jokes, among many other things, make coupledom rewarding and enjoyable.
Of course romantic partnership has its challenges and downfalls, as well. You have to compromise, communicate and make a lot of sacrifices to keep the peace and love strong between 2 people.
Now that I'm a single woman for the first time in a long time, I'm having some important realizations...
I was feeling really down and out in one of my favorite yoga classes the other day. My mind was running circles around recent events. Disturbing images and unsettling feelings were taking over my experience on the mat.
Then I asked myself, “What’s different between where I am now versus where I was 3 months ago?”
The only difference is that I had a boyfriend then, and now I don’t. Yes, this is significant. But then again...not really.
I’m still me. I still have the most amazing friends and family. I still get to practice at a beautiful yoga studio. I still have a great job. I still get to eat healthy food and drink clean water.
It occurred to me that I’d been letting my happiness be controlled by 1 element in my life. My focus was on the 1 thing I didn’t have when I could’ve been looking at the 1,000’s of wonderful pieces that were still there.
How much happiness are you investing in 1 area of your life? I think it’s normal to get stuck in tunnel vision.
When work is going well and you’re hitting your number? You’re on Cloud 9. You feel powerful, successful and excited. But when you have a down month? You feel like utter crap. Suddenly, nothing in your life is going right and you think you’re kind of a loser.
Perhaps you finally shed those lingering 5 pounds you’ve been meaning to lose for all of 2016. You’re absolutely elated! Your clothes look and feel better than ever. You walk around like the hot babe you know you are. Then you attend a few holiday parties, get off your diet plan and gain all 5 pounds back. Now all you want to do is hide away in your apartment. And you feel like a big, fat failure.
Maybe you’re planning to finally get engaged. You’ve been with your lover for 4 years and you couldn’t be happier. You’ve picked out the ring of your dreams and he knows the exact size of your finger. You get a manicure in preparation for a big night out. But...he never pops the question. You feel discouraged and disappointed, and you wonder if you’ll ever get married.
Any of these scenarios sound familiar? It’s easy to fixate on the 1 thing that’s going either super right or terribly wrong. I catch myself in negative thought loops more often than I’d like to admit.
Let’s make a pact to focus on the big picture, especially over the next couple weeks.The holidays tend to trigger strong thoughts and feelings. Remember: Your circumstances don’t dictate your happiness...YOU do.
Even if that 1 thing doesn’t go as planned? Your life is still full of beautiful blessings. Give your attention to what you have instead of what you lack.
The other day my friend commented on how resilient I am. After she said that, I thought to myself… Resiliency is such a beautiful word. So I looked up the definition and this is what I found:
It definitely resonated. Even though I’m going through some personal difficulties? I do my best to remain cheerful and hopeful, like always.
But then I realized when life challenges you to be resilient? You never actually return to the original form as the definition states.
Curve balls happen. You don’t get the job. Your business plummets. Unexpected things come out of left field.
I know when I’m suffering, I want nothing more than to get back to comfort. The goal is to return to health, happiness and overall ease as quickly as possible. And I believe that’s a good target to aim for.
Just don’t forget to embrace change. Yes, you need to be strong and resilient. But you also need to accept that every experience is transforming you into a better version of yourself.
I, for one, barely recognize 15-year-old Greta. I’m sure in another 10 years, I’ll have a hard time relating to myself as I am now.
That’s because the highs and lows of life have bent, compressed and molded me into someone else. I’ve become better, brighter, and more knowledgeable, year after year.And honestly? I have no desire to go back to my original form.
Here's my call to action: Let your struggles stretch you to your limits. Push the status quo. Accept challenges as change makers. Use them to become someone new rather than staying stuck in old.
You're stronger than you think you are
Some days you hit every red light. Your customers yell at you. And then you lock your keys in the car.
Other days you call into the radio station and win tickets to your favorite band. You get 94 likes on your Instagram post. The lasagna turns out just right.
As humans, we experience good days and bad days. That’s how we grow, learn and appreciate the ebb and flow of life.
You can’t always control what happens to you. Sometimes you’re simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But you can choose how much or how little you suffer when things don’t go as planned.
I believe suffering happens when you resist your life.
When I’m going through hard times, or I don’t quite understand why something is happening to me, I say to myself,
“Don’t resist your life.”
This affirmation reminds me to accept whatever is happening in the moment. And rather than reacting to unwanted circumstances? I try to ride the wave.
I’m not perfect, but when I remember to feel my emotions come and go, like waves in the ocean, life goes much more smoothly.
Practice an attitude of acceptance by welcoming in the good AND the bad.
Allow yourself to feel any emotion that comes up. Fully embrace it. Ride it. And sooner than later? It will pass.
When you resist your life, or try to hide from the pain you’re experiencing, you actually give it more power.
Kind of like pretending you’re not sick when you know the best thing for your body is to take a day off and rest. But you keep pushing and pushing until eventually you’re forced to take 3 days off instead of 1.
I’ll say it again,
“Don’t resist your life.”
Trust that even if things don’t make sense right now, one day they will. Or at the very least? They’ll make a little more sense than they do now.
Where are you resisting? Give yourself permission to feel it, experience it, hate it, love it or whatever it is you’re being pulled to do…
Ride that wave to the other side.
And on the other side? Is freedom…
I love these new, salted vanilla lattes from Caribou. The combination of frothy milk, sweet vanilla and energizing coffee makes my mouth water. They’re divine. And every time I drink one? I feel amaaaaaazing. They make me SO happy!
That’s because they're loaded with sugar and caffeine. Obviously.
As delectable as my latte lover is, I know it’s not really that good for me.It’s got very little nutritional value. And I usually crash and burn once the initial high wears off.
Plus, if I drink one too late in the day? I know it’s going to make it harder to fall asleep. Not good.
It’s okay to indulge every once in awhile. Moderation is key, right? But they’re definitely not something I want to drink every day.
Now I’m also obsessed with kale salads. I love to toss olive oil massaged kale with goji berries, roasted pumpkin seeds and rotisserie chicken. I top it all off with a homemade tahini dressing inspired by my friend Jaina.
This salad is the freaking b-o-m-b. Seriously. Every bite is a little different. But each one is delicious.
Kale salads leave you feeling energized, light and I’ll say it… downright sexy.
That’s because it’s made up of amazing, nutritious ingredients. The salad genuinely leaves me better than it found me.
If I could eat this salad every day? I would (and I probably should)!
Relationships are a lot like food.
You get to choose what you put in your mouth. And you get to choose who you spend your time with.
Some people are kind of like sugary coffee drinks. They’re fun and exciting… once in awhile. You can handle them in small doses. But beyond that? They become toxic. Mostly because they leave you feeling exhausted and worn down.
It’s not that they’re inherently bad people. They’re just not good… for you. Usually it’s because your values simply aren't aligned. You’re focused on different life goals. It's not a vibrational match.
Then there are people in your life who resemble a kale salad. They’re positive and energizing from beginning to end. They light up your world. And when you part ways? You feel inspired, uplifted and content.
Only you know how someone actually affects you---energetically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s subjective. And it’s easy to miss if you don’t pay attention.
This analogy extends beyond relationships. You can apply it to your career, business offerings, social media, reading materials and, well, food.
One of my fav yoga teachers says, “How you spend your time is how you spend your life.”
Where are you spending your time? Where are you spending your life?
I encourage you to slow down. Pause before saying “yes” or “no” to opportunities as they arise. Make decisions with the awareness of how you’ll feel before, during and after an interaction.
If you’ve been living on sugary lattes for too many days in a row, know that you might be missing out on a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
And if you’re sick of kale salads? Maybe it’s time to indulge in a latte.
It’s all a balancing act. Mindfulness is key.
Are you involved in a relationship, job or business partnership that resembles a sugary latte? Is it energizing at first, but leaves you high and dry?
Are you spending too much time on social media, comparing yourself to others?
Do you feel guilty for binge watching too many episodes of House of Cards?
Make a list.
Write down 5 things (people or activities) that are fun at first but leave you feeling crappy.
Next to that list, jot down 5 things that almost always leave you feeling confident and satisfied.
Notice if you’re spending more time on one list than the other. Don’t judge or criticize. This is about building awareness.
Take a look at your calendar. Can you input more “kale salad activities” and take out “sugary latte engagements”?
I’ll say it again:
"How you spend your time is how you spend your life."
Make every minute count.