Hi my friends!
I really love this time of year, the air is crisper, it’s socially acceptable to drink pumpkin spice lattes, and it’s the start of the holiday season, which I feel, after this year, we all are ready for some good cheer.
I find myself extra reflective when this time of year rolls around. I’ll be celebrating my birthday in a few days, and with a new year right around the corner, it feels important to me to take some time to go inward and honor what has transpired these past 10 months.
I know that life is never easy, and surely these 20-months of pandemic living have assured us of that, but the silver lining to it all, for me, is the lessons learned along the way. Hard times and difficult moments, while painful, can provide such beautiful opportunities for growth and cultivating strength and resiliency.
I think this year I picked up quite a few meaningful lessons, and want to share them with you today. Hopefully, somehow, they help you, too.
- No one goes through life unscathed. I used to think that some people just had easier lives, and while it’s true that some of us are dealt certain privileges and circumstances that can make life easier, every single person living on this earth will face challenges and struggles. Everyone is fighting a battle, you just might not be able to see it, and this is the key. Release the need to compare or write stories about other people’s lived experiences, because we truly never know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Change is the only true constant in life. While I’ve always known this to be true, this year taught me so much more about the concept of change and how important it is to cultivate the ability of acceptance. The more we can release the need to let go of what we cannot control, we can create the space to fully enjoy and experience what life has for us in the present moment. Our happiness will never find stability when placed in the hands of the external world, but it can take real roots when we cultivate it from within.
- It is not up to us to understand the timing of life. So often we like to force our lives to fit into tiny boxes in societal timelines, and it brings us so much stress and anxiety when the timelines don’t add up. This year has taught me, in such a big way, to release the tight grip I have on what I think my life should look like, and be open, and curious to the life that is constantly unfolding for me in each and every present moment. What we can do is continue to act in alignment, and hold the vision that the things, places, people, and circumstances we desire will always come to us in perfect timing.
- You’re allowed to care for yourself in ways that other people may not understand. Self-care, of course, has been such a hot topic during the course of this pandemic, we’ve learned, more than ever, that our own care of self is absolutely crucial. But so often it gets lost that how we actually care for ourselves is actually very unique to ourselves. I’ve learned to say no, even more often than usual, in order to care for myself, regardless of any fears of judgment or retaliation I might have been feeling. You will never, ever regret the decisions you make when it comes to honoring your own self-care, remember that.
- No feeling is ever final. I learn and relearn this one every single day, but it will always be an incredibly powerful reminder for me. I have practices and tools that I use daily, but my thoughts can still get the best of me and take me to dark places. When you’re in those dark moments, they feel all-consuming, and they will last forever, right? But I know for certain that every feeling, the bad ones and the good ones, shift eventually. If you can hold on long enough, the light will always show up at the end of the tunnel. This is the real beauty of life, after every dark moment, comes light.
Thank you all so much for always being such a beautiful part of this community. I’m so grateful for you and never take your presence and support for granted.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com