I have been doing some spring cleaning. Not the traditional kind, more of a spiritual kind.
When I was really down last month, I realized (again) how downright cruel I can be to myself. Years ago, I used to be only filled with self hate- constantly insulting myself, repeating hurtful phrases to myself as some kind of torturing mantra.
I have come a long way since then, but , boy, when I start sinking down, those thoughts come back like an army of flying monkeys of the soul!
I have been consciously trying to replace those negative thoughts with positivity and optimism.
Of course, when I am feeling good, this isn't really that hard. The dark feeling are more manageable when they are small passing clouds in an otherwise sunny day. But when the storm comes... Well, I am practicing being kind to myself so that when the storm comes ( and there will be storms ) I am in the habit of helping myself with thoughts instead of hurting myself with them.
In addition to working to change my thought patterns and self-talk, I am changing some of my other habits. I have been spending less time online and more time outside. I have been eating more moderately and getting more exercise. I have been putting on my ipod and listening to music or podcasts instead of watching tv. I am feeling better and enjoying the changes I am putting into place. In the past, I have done these things intermittently, but I really want them to be a more consistent way of life. It feels so good. Why do I let these practices go?
To help keep this going, I am treating each new positive impulse as a lit match. I cup my hands around it and protect it so it doesn't get put out by a slight wind. When I have one of those thoughts like "ooh, it's really nice out, I should go for a walk," I try to act on it quickly, before I have time to talk myself out of it or get distracted. I am practicing overcoming inertia!
Above is another one of my thrifted tea towels.
Isn't it cute? I thought it was fitting for the topic.
What's going on with you all?