Opening a gift shop was not what I thought it would be. Taking big steps to grow a business can be overwhelming, but if you remind yourself why you started, it will pull you through. Here are my steps to being prepared for the unknown in the brick and mortar world.Read More
In my last journal entry I shared my first non-negotiable in life, which was my daily meditation practice. Meditating is one of the two things that help me deal with daily anxiety and fear. If you would like to read more you can find it here.
Today I wanted to share with you my second daily non-negotiable that is done in correlation with my meditation practice in order to keep me feeling calm and balanced. Unlike my meditation practice, which is done first thing in the morning, writing can happen at any point in the day. This is a more organic and natural process versus one that is regimented. I keep a notebook in almost every room in my house, so when the spark hits, I can just grab the closest one, find a comfy spot and share my thoughts with the paper. I am going to explain below what my daily journaling looks like, however you can create something that is better suited for you if you find my technique not matching your style.
I always start by choosing my top 10 things I am grateful for, whether that be my home, health or relationships, etc. I choose each one carefully, write it down and then connect the feeling of gratitude for each one in my heart. This is not a list that I steam roll through, this is more of an exercise in reminding myself to not just say "I am grateful for X" but to actually connect the feeling of gratitude for each one. Once I have my daily top 10 and walked through the feelings for each one, I re-read the list and out-loud thank God/Source/Universe for each one.
- Write It
- Feel It
- Say It
Next, I will write about whatever is pressing on my mind in that moment. This could be business related, relationship issue's, financial worries or health. (My topics vary from day to day) This week in particular I have been feeling stuck, not really progressing or regressing but just sitting still. I wanted to explore more on why I was feeling this way. When I feel the need to get deep into a feeling I will normally meditate on it and then write about it. I have been taking mental note on all the self-defeating stories my ego has been telling myself lately. I write down why these self-defeating thoughts are simply old stories that no longer serve a purpose in my present day. As humans we tend to carry our stories with us even though they are from our past and no longer serve us well today. Maybe its because we feel our past pains are like a badge of honor. They show someone how much we have endured and experienced. But, in order to leave them where they belong (in the past) we need to greet with them lovingly, let them surface and then be willing to part ways, knowing very well you will not benefit from them today, tomorrow or next week.
When I started to write down all those self-defeating stories I was telling myself, there was a common thread among them. It was the notion that I did not deserve the success I was working very hard and diligently towards. Even though I was putting in the 10 hour days, giving my all to every client, working smart in order to avoid creative burn-out and having a steady calendar of work in front of me, I was still telling myself old stories from the past that I did not deserve success. Even if I kept at it longer, harder, smarter, as long as I was believing that I did not enjoy the fruits of my labor, it would never come. Hence, leave me feeling stuck, not progressing not regressing, just standing still.
In the past there was a time where I did believe this, but that was no longer truthful and real for me today. See, even though I can say, "No I do not believe this story to be my truth anymore" I needed to make peace with it, thank it and release it. I need to believe and remind myself this is no longer the story I want to live out. Instead, it would stay with me, waiting for me to eventually believe it again. And this is exactly why I have my two non-negotiable's in life. I have come to trust that the action of meditating and writing are just as important to my mind as healthy food is to my body. It has become so ingrained into my daily routine that I now look forward to completing each one as I would my favorite glass of Cabernet after a long day.
Now, how does any of this relate to business? Gifting? Being a creative? Because when my mind and thoughts are not aligned with my purest intent, then I am no longer living to my truest capabilities. How can I possibly offer my very best if I am not thinking my very best, feeling my very best, acting my best? Simply put, they walk hand in hand. My business is a direct reflection of my heart. My heart is a direct reflection of my thoughts. And I work everyday to create thoughts that are aligned with all of the above. Full circle, one working off the other.
As apprehensive as I was to share these extremely personal self-care practices, I felt that if one person could benefit from my openness, then that would trump any insecurities I may feel. I'm not embarrassed of where I am, I am so proud of how far I have come. I plan on sharing more often with the hopes that it speaks to your heart. Take what you need, file what may be needed and disregard the rest.
If you are interested in starting a meditation practice, I recommend checking out The Chopra Center where you will find free guided meditations as well as the 21 Day Meditation Experience. And if you are interested in starting a journal routine, well just pick a pen, and write one word at a time. Glory comes from the willingness to begin.
The intent of this journal or other information provided is not meant for self-diagnosis or use in place of medical advice, but to share my personal journey dealing with various mental health topics. If you or someone you know may be struggling with mental health issues, please seek support from the appropriate professionals within your community.
When I finally decided to add this journal to my site, I originally had plans of sharing everything about gifting, where to buy the best supplies, and lot's of other fun tips on how to design fabulous gifts that will keep them talking (In a good way!). And while I still plan on sharing those topics, right now I am truly being pulled in a different direction that has me wanting to keep it more real with you guys. I love when I can make a connection with my audience and I am seeing a trend that when I am honest and open, the deeper that connection becomes. I want to use this space to not just write and share about the gorgeousness behind gifting but also about real life topics.
I woke up today wanted to share with you my two non-negotiable's in life. These are the things that I vow to not negotiate my way out of with excuses. It is what keeps me feeling centered and honestly helps reduce my feelings of day to day anxiety and nervousness. When I am centered and focused on my well-being than I am able to offer my best to not only my clients, friends and family, but most importantly myself. Through-out the years I have created two habits that make this possible, meditation & writing.
Meditation, as stated by the Chopra Center "is a simple yet powerful tool that will take you to a state of profound relaxation, dissolve fatigue and accumulated stress, and renew your creativity and passion for life. By its very nature, meditation calms the mind, and when the mind is in a state of restful awareness, the body relaxes, too."
I hope I don't lose you now if you are thinking this is only for Yogi's or New - Age thinking individuals. Meditation is for everyone and anyone! And the best part, you can have results even by meditating if only for a few minute a day! Meditating is my first daily non-negotiable. This is something that is just as important to my morning routine as brushing my teeth. If I know I have an early start the next day, I will rise 15 minutes earlier. For me, it centers my mind, calms my heart and sets my intentions for the day. Whatever is on my mind that morning that may have me feeling anxious or fearful, I spend 15-20 minutes meditating on it. I take this time to hand it over to God, Universe, Energy, Source and trust that it is all being taken care of.
Before I committed to making meditation one of my non-negotiable's, I would dabble here and there with it. Sometimes I would dedicate a few weeks meditating and then find a reason to not partake one morning and then months would go by with no intention of meditating. That's when I would take notice that my anxiety is strong and constant, my self-defeating thoughts are rampant and my over-all feelings of being centered and balanced are non-existent. Over the years I have been able to recognize what makes me feel good inside and out and what no longer serves my mind and body well. Meditation for me, like prayer is something that truly connects me closer to Source. And when I am closer to Source, is where the calmness exists, and the answers are found.
I invite you to try meditating along with me, even if its only for a few minutes a day. Upon rising, carve out 5 minutes for yourself where you can quietly rest with no distractions. Sit in a relaxed position, with your back straight and your hands resting in your lap. Choose a mantra for how you would like to feel that day. Here are a few of my favorites:
- My mind is calm
- I am at peace
- I am healthy mentally, physically and emotionally
- I am guided to all my answers
- I am strong, powerful and courageous
If you are a beginner to meditation, there are so many useful FREE resources online for guided meditations. One of my favorites that I am partaking in currently is the 21 Day Meditation Experience, Getting Unstuck. This is a 21 day guided meditation to help you become unstuck and create a limitless life. Sounds good, doesn't it?
I speak from experience when I say this practice has changed my mind, my thoughts, my life. With all the noise in today's world, it's reassuring to know that each morning I will gift myself the chance to reconnect, realign and come back to center and I wish the same for all of you. If you have any questions regarding a meditation practice, please feel free to email me or comment below. Let's all become the greatest version of ourselves together!
Stay tuned for my second non-negotiable, it will have lots of good tips on how to over-come those self limiting beliefs. Don't want to miss out, make sure you are signed up for my newsletter below. Let's take this journey together!
I've been wanting to write this post for a couple of weeks now and finally was able to put my thoughts into words. You may have noticed recently that I have been very quiet on the social media scene. And there is good reason why I have decided to say good-bye to the noise and distractions.
My normal routine upon waking would consist of opening my eye's, giving my body a good stretch and within minutes of rising I would already be "plugged in" for the remainder of the day. It would start with checking my emails before I even brushed my teeth, then right onto all my social media platforms. I was exhausted before I even got out of bed. Well, let me re-phrase, mentally exhausted... By the time I was my pouring my coffee, the thoughts were already filling my head of how my business nor I was just not good enough. Think about that with me for a minute, within moments of starting my day, I was already setting myself up for failure with these negative thoughts about myself and my business. Even typing that out makes me feel such a sadness. I just want to go back in time and give myself a big hug and say out loud, "Stop listening to all the noise."
As time went on, I eventually became my own worse critic. Somewhere on this journey, I started to believe that faster was better, that quantity over quality was favored, that taking on work that did not align with my business model was "OK" for the time being because at least I was "working." Then enter the burn-out, the moment when I not only took on to much work for one person, but work that was no longer satisfying my wallet or my heart. I was lost and so consumed by the noise, I didn't even realize it.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up and realized that I left my phone in my office. So instead of starting my morning off with checking emails and social media, I laid in bed and went over my plans for the day. I then proceeded to slowly rise, brush my teeth, go outside with my dogs, check on the garden, make a cup of coffee and did all this without the noise. The noise that I would normally already have within minutes of waking. This experience gave me a taste for something I had been yearning for but had no idea how to get there. Was I indeed addicted to the noise that I was now despising? I no longer wanted to feel inadequate because of who I am "friends" with or who shares my work. I wanted to break free from the labels we get based upon the number of likes, friends, shares, collaborations, partnerships, shout-outs and true high-school feeling clique's. No thanks! No more! I didn't want to be sold another online course on how to gain more followers. I was not interested in buying into someone else's idea of pay me hundreds of dollars and I will make you an over-night success. Noise, it was all noise and it was crowding my mind, taking up valuable space. Space that I wanted to save for my clients, for my work, for myself.
I now have a commitment to myself that when the noise starts to take up to much of my time, I close down the laptop and disconnect for a short while. And when I say disconnect, I do not mean that I walk away from my work obligations, I actually get busy with-in my work. I dive into creating something fabulous and unique for one of my Bride's or put some writing time into my blog. Anything that helps me ease away from the pressure's of keeping up is medicine for my soul. I am looking for true and authentic connections, not one's that are based on what I can do for you or vice versa.
And while I really do love what some of my social media outlets have done for my business, I now approach it in a very different manner. I am so appreciative for what it has brought me thus far, like some really amazing business opportunities and honest friendships. These are the things that keep the noise away, my clients, my friendships, my family, they are what is truly important in my life. I will continue to be present online but I will close it down when the first feelings of the pressure start to seep in. I am a work in progress as we all are and this is my attempt at being the best possible version of Malissa.
And as far as my phone... It's best left in the other room at night. I really am enjoying the quiet start to my days.
Photos by Love and Light Photographs