Waking up to darkness and watching it fall back on us so early in the evening can feel smothering, even in the beautiful city of Chicago. So since I have started to be intentional on this journey to know myself, accept myself and care for myself I have learned that smothered feeling, like all my feelings, is valid. It is my body softly, gently letting me know what it needs. It’s whispering Hey Melissa…do something different!
I’ve found that listening to your body oftentimes goes against societal norms, ‘acceptable’ guidelines and the opinions of others. However, I’ve also found it is the best way to give yourself what you truly need. So when I first had the silly idea to move my bedroom into the living room, filled with windows and the brightest space in the house, I quickly dismissed it. And then I just didn’t. I made a choice to honor that small guiding voice and moved my entire house around to make this change. The sunlight beaming in every morning has changed the way I feel when it’s time to get out of bed. It has changed my energy levels and how my home feels overall.
It is time for all of us to let go of the expectations others have for us and brick by brick start building lives we love. Abundant, vibrant lives that may not make sense to others but work for us.
While rearranging your entire house may seem like a huge change, your changes can start with smaller things. Play with the following ideas, let yourself dream and start to imagine how you’d like your life to be different:
Stop punishing yourself with exercise!
Beating your body into submission is not the way to go (and everyone isn’t a long-distance runner and that’s OK). Take time to try new activities to see what you love and what works best with your body. Some socially distanced options might include virtual yoga, dance or fitness classes, tennis lessons, hiking, bike riding, long walks (it’s getting cold, but bundle up and get outside!), ultimate frisbee or jumping on a trampoline.
Say no to things that don’t work in your life
Boundaries are an act of self-care and love for others. You do not need a good reason to hold space for yourself, to just be quiet or to sit out the next social (or virtual) gathering you’re invited to. Give yourself permission to prioritize your peace of mind by saying ‘no’ and the freedom to change your mind when things aren’t working.
Fill your home with things you love
Be brave and let go of things you are only keeping because you feel you ‘should.’ As you let go of things you don’t need, want or use, you’ll be amazed at what beautiful things show up to fill those spaces. Be choosy with what is in your home! It is your unique safe haven and should reflect your beautiful heart.
Build your listening skills
The most important step to building a life you love is getting in the habit of listening to yourself. Being self-aware and honest about what you need or desire is not common currency these days, but it is worth more than gold. Build time into each day to quiet yourself, meditate and breathe. When your body sends you messages, take them seriously. If you need sleep, lay down. Craving fresh air and sun? Get outside…you get the idea.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” The same applies to your life. The only life you are destined to live is the life you decide to live. Choose yourself and decide, today and every day, to build the life of your choosing: one that you love.
There may be a lot of things you want to change, and choosing one to get started with may feel like too much right now. That’s okay! Use the contact form on our homepage to get in touch with one of our life coaches and let’s take it one step at a time—together.