When I lived in San Diego this past year, I went through a tremendous meditative journey that took me on the most incredible path to self-awareness. It changed my entire outlook on my life – who I was, who I wanted to become, and even who I wanted in my life that would compliment/enhance/promote myself in the best of ways. No longer was I worrying about things in my life as much, feeling down about things I couldn’t control; or even taking on other people’s problems (even though I’m a nurturer and problem solver). I learned to simply “be” and be happy with what the universe was giving me to work with.
It’s because of my meditation practices that I learned to live a more conscious life – making choices that could only bring me the inner peace and happiness I grew accustomed to having. It became easier to not only believe in what I want for myself, but also own those beliefs as well, realizing that it’s not just who I become but what I want surrounding me, to help me get there. All the exercises in the first week of this practice are DESIGNED to put you in this very spot I am in today.
If you’ve followed past meditative posts before, you know that I originally hail from Washington, D.C. – a city that can suck you in, turn you into someone amazing, and with one slip, can just as easily spit you back out. It’s cutthroat, it’s hard to date here, everyone is in a rush, and everyone can be super NEGATIVE. You can easily lose your identity, in order to try to fit in. You can easily lose your temper because everyone else has lost it too. And, you can easily lose sight of who you are because you become too reactive to things, not really taking the time to think about IF something should truly let it affect you. I was one of those people for years. And then… I made a radical life shift and upheaved my life to move to San Diego last year, for one year. While the reasons varied for my move, I knew the benefits would be tremendous. Sure, I was leaving my friends, the bulk of my family, and everything I knew, far behind. But, I also knew that I needed to breathe, think, not drink, be healthy, and work on my goals. I knew that I needed to live life on my terms – I wanted to be free to think, speak, and act the way I wanted to with no social repercussions. I now joke that I felt like I was on vacation for a year.
But then this past March, something told me my journey was about to be complete there and that I needed to make another move. The toss up was between Los Angeles (a place I adore), or realizing that Washington, D.C. was my true home and that instead of going back to how things were, embrace what I became and bring it back with me. I decided that Washington, D.C. was going to be it but on the condition that I would never deviate from my true self again. As a result, my move, my entire summer, and my fall (so far) have been absolutely incredible. I have made friends from so many different social groups, of all ages, and all races. I have spent weekends by the pool, enjoying BBQs, taking trips to Annapolis, boating, and attending house parties (which most D.C. inhabitants need to be seen at the latest and greatest hot spots). I have danced until the sun came up (still do), laughed more times than I could count (I’m surprised I don’t have six-pack abs), and realized that remaining present to enjoy all of this was the best gift I could ever give myself. Because of this sense of calm and this inner quiet confidence that came over me, people have been drawn in, which still mystifies me – that an entire internal energy shift and outlook on life could do wonders for those around me too!
Realizing who you are and OWNING it will always require a little bit of work to maintain. Those of us who meditate all the time and have achieved a higher sense of self, still have bad days. It’s in how we tackle those bad days, that changes how we go through our daily lives. Instead of focusing on the negative, we focus on envisioning the solution and the positive outcome out of that solution. We tackle bad days as though it was meant to remind us of our strengths and where we can improve. It reminds us to remain present, be the best we can be, and understand that we have the power within ourselves to help make for a better, brighter world.
It’s through these ongoing exercises, self- re-evalutions, and constant tweaking that life remains constantly in balance – that we remain constantly in control of our destiny. I truly believe that if you continue to follow this 21-day challenge, amazing things will start to happen.