Its time to make yourself into a blank canvas so that you can design your year however your heart desires.
Sometimes when I meditate I envision myself as a blank canvas. Beautiful colors of soft paint are being splashed and thrown & I am taking the paint brush and I am painting the most beautiful picture. Sometimes its just a rainbow of colors but what’s most symbolic is how I’m working the brush. I’m always stretching the paint, reaching and pushing it even further than I thought I could. To me it means never ending growth. I’m always changing, always pushing my limits, always wanting to see how deep I can reflect inward, and its such a beautiful piece of art. The greatest masterpiece I will ever paint, is myself.
Once upon a time I didn’t feel that way. I didn’t see anymore growth in my future. I was terribly sick with my auto immune disorder, I was in the hospital several times a week with panic attacks, I was severely depressed, I had just lost my parents and a friend to a terrible tragedy, I had a toddler to care for, I was going through a lawsuit because of my father taking the life of a young girl, two complicated estates to settle, two houses to empty and a lot of negativity from my dads friends and family later and I wasn’t sure I wanted to live anymore. Oh and whenever someone asked how I was doing I would say, “I’m fine”.
I started traveling because I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I would say to my husband, “I want to take this trip with Charlie because I don’t know how much time I have.” Charlie is my now five year old daughter.
Traveling never brought me much joy. I went on a trip to Sedona Arizona without my family and I just sat in the mountains one day and cried because even after hiking a mountain side there was a hole in my heart that even that view couldn’t fill.
I wasn’t exactly suicidal, my dad commited suicide and just having to read that on his death certificate was bad enough, let alone having to picture it happening on a loop every time I closed my eyes until the end of my days. I didn’t want to do that to my daughter, I just use to wish that I would close my eyes one night and my heart would give out. With my disease that could happen anyway and I wasn’t medicating or taking care of myself at the time, because I just didn’t care if I lived.
Somewhere along the way I found my will to live, but I decided that it wouldn’t be like that. There had to be more to life. There had to be more to life than all the fucked up things I had lived through just to be sitting in a pool of depression and not wanting to live anymore.
I don’t know if we have any control over how we are going to die for the most part, but I do know that we 100% have control over on how we chose to live, and we can choose happiness.
#1: We Are Not Our Past or The Things That Have Happened To Us
We all have a past. We all have a story. If you talk to anyone, they will tell you about happy times in their lives, but I can bet that they will also be able to tell you something heartbreaking or sad about their lives too.
When I would sit down for a session with my therapist she thought I had one of the most interesting but heartbreaking lives. She would say, “Miranda, you should write a book”, and I would say “Sure, but I don’t think anyone would be interested in reading it”. And I still feel like that is true. Every book needs an ending. The story of the first 30 years of my life will only mean something to me if I live the next 30 years as authentic and true as possible. I want to write a story that is beyond my suffering. My father caused my suffering, the most important part of my story will be how I decided I’m more than that.
We are more than our childhoods, we are more than the tragic things that have happened to us. Separate yourself from it.
Separate yourself from yesterday, it’s gone
Let go of 2017 and move into 2018 with an open heart.
Leave your past behind and feel free to create the life that you always dreamed of.
#2 Take Inventory of Yourself
Who are you? Who do you want to be?
Write it down.
Write down your flaws. Decide which ones you want to own and which ones you want to change.
Decide what you are great at and focus on that.
I’m not good at math, I’m not ever going to be good at it and I hate it, so I’m not going to go out and go to college for something that requires intense levels of math.
I am 31 years old, I don’t have time to dick around. I choose to focus on what I’m good at.
I use to think I was a failure because I wasn’t an academic.
No, I’m just great at other things and I’ve made peace with that and you should too!
You cannot be afraid to face who you really are.
If there is something inwardly that you do not like about yourself you can always change it. (Not to be conflicting with the above statement) But if you do not take that inventory of yourself you will never know.
The more self-aware you become, the more in tune and authentic you can be.
#3: Let Go of Any Relationships No Longer Serving You
This is probably the most important.
You cannot focus on any of these other steps if you are giving your time, energy, and resources to relationships that are no longer giving meaning to your life.
Relationships with the wrong people can be incredibly draining.
I love people, I really do, I get emotionally attached to people like a mother fucker.
I would say as a completely sober person, my one drug in life is connecting with a persons soul.
And I need that fix.
Craving that fix is what leaves me holding hands with an incredibly handsome man in my hotel in Salem and talking about life until 6 in the morning.
That thrill leaves me skinny dipping until 5 am with a guy that I barely know feeling vulnerable as fuck but undeniably joyful.
It leads me to rooftops over-looking beautiful cities, plane rides, new experiences, late night dinners, and long walks with cups of coffee.
I love never knowing where I might end up or who I’m going to meet.
Connecting with people for me is what makes life meaningful.
But when that connection ends, walls go up, and you feel that cold breeze, move on with your life!
Sometimes connection is only for one night and that’s ok.
I’m saying this one loud and clear for myself to hear as well!
Any time I try to force things (especially with a romantic interest) it always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I’m always like, “Fuuuuucccck, why did I do that?” and then I “facepalm”. Save yourself the heartache, do not be a hopeless romantic like me.
I have a terrible habit of really liking a person and seeing their potential, projecting all of that potential on them at once and forgetting that they are human and at any moment they can end up falling short.
They wont even be fulfilling my true need for connection but I will hold on in hopes that it will happen because they are a nice person or something to that degree.
But literally, don’t nobody got time for that.
That partner that you once had a great connection with but they went cold, let them go!
That friend that keeps saying she wants to meet for coffee but it never seems to happen, let it be.
That woman who really wants to be friends but you have met up a few times and you just don’t feel a connection, its ok, you cant be friends with everybody.
If you have a friend that is constantly dumping her negativity onto your plate and its starting to effect your mood too, say I’m sorry but I cannot have this in my life.
Drawing all of these boundaries makes time and space for more meaningful relationships to come into your life that your soul is craving.
And if anyone, I mean anyone is mean or disrespectful to you, cut them out of your life IMMEDIATLY without hesitation. They are not worth the two hours it took me to write this blog.
I will leave you with this quote,
“I am willing to let go. I know that every person has divine guidance and wisdom within them, so I do not have to run their lives for them. I am not here to control others. I am here to heal my own life. People come into my life at the right time. We share the time we are meant to have together, and then at the perfect time they leave, and I lovingly let go. I release others to experience whatever is meaningful to them and I am free to create that which is meaningful to me.” -Louise Hay
#4: Words Are Powerful
Do not go into 2018 talking bad about yourself.
When we constantly talk negatively about ourselves our minds believe it.
I still have trouble even taking a compliment.
Someone would say “Oh Miranda, you look cute” and I would always respond, “Thanks, but…”. I could never just take the compliment. I couldn’t even let other people say nice things about me. Now I try my hardest to sit through the discomfort and graciously and confidently say “thank you”.
I grew up with parents who spewed a lot of negative self talk.
My dads favorite saying was “Life sucks and then you die”.
Its no wonder where I learned it from.
Well, he was right, his whole life sucked and then he died. He created that with his negativity.
Words are extremely powerful and what we say often times comes true.
So, please don’t be mean to yourself, and don’t be afraid to speak your dreams, even if it seems silly.
Say them a loud riding in the car, looking in the mirror, or write them in your journal.
Like my girl Louise Hay says, at first an affirmation may seem silly, if it was truth, you wouldn’t have to put it in an affirmation, but the more you say it to yourself the more you will believe it. Its only a matter of time.
(Side Note: If you don’t have a journal, get one! It will be the best thing you buy this year. You can get one for 5 bucks from Half Priced Books)
#5: Don’t Go Looking For Happiness In Anyone or Anything Other Than Yourself
Happiness isn’t going to come from marriage, having children, shopping, sex, food, money, status, a new job, friends, or anything else.
There are so many people in this world who have so much money, they have had so many successes and yet they are unhappy.
There are people who have very little, can’t afford food, or to pay their bills, and they are so bitter and unhappy.
Happiness doesn’t come from anywhere or anyone, it comes from within ourselves.
You tap into your happiness by loving and respecting yourself.
You love and respect yourself by being true to who you are, drawing boundaries, being kind to yourself & others and looking out for your mental health.
I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to searching for happiness.
If I’m feeling down I want to eat cookies, I want sex, I want to shop.
But afterward I’m still not happy.
You can only outrun your mental health for so long.
People will say I will be happy when I lose X amount of weight for example. They lose the weight but they are still not happy and its only a matter of time before they regress, put the weight right back on and find themselves miserable and right back to where they started.
If happiness was as easy as 50 pounds lost, new shoes, or a tinder date, we would all be happy.
My best friend said to me once “if we don’t have our mental health then we have nothing”, that really stuck with me.
Make necessary doctors appointments, see a therapist, meditate, read a self-help book, rid yourself of negativity, listen to your intuition when it says this person, place or thing is no good for you. All of this will heed way for you to tap into your happiness.
Once you get that clear shot and you keep putting in the work happiness will flow.
You deserve it, and never undermine all the effort you are making, you are incredible and it is the greatest work you will ever do.