August Theme: Awake & Aware
It’s the first month of the Year of Freedom & Giveaway Program and I couldn’t be more excited for you!! If you are new to my blog you might not realize how intimately I understand dealing with hardship, depression, anxiety and all that I write about. I started my life over last year at age 58 with basically nothing. So, I know all too well how extremely difficult life can be. At the same time, I know the specific actions to take to overcome life’s trying time. It’s time for you to step away from depression, anxiety, worry, fear, anger and resentment and into the emotions of love, joy, happiness, peace and contentment. I have written about dealing with depression, dealing with overwhelm, how to be happy when you are suffering, how low self-esteem can steal your love and happiness and I know what the research states about the specific actions that can be taken to alleviate such negative feelings. You will come to know that I love research. It’s just one of my things.
You have this amazing chance to change your life for the better (and win some cool stuff)! The theme for August is Awake and Aware. If you are super charged up about changing your life for the better and actually feeling better right now, there are 40 previous blog posts that will help you so you don’t have to wait. You could start reading them right now. Each month will start with a theme, some small assignments and new content. Content that will expand and supplement what I have already written. I am not a fan of recycling content.
I can’t tell you how it touches my heart to see someone improve their life. It’s incredibly moving. It’s the stuff that magical moments are made of. It is one of those things that inspires me to no end. To be a part of that is an honor and a privilege beyond compare. If you are willing to do the work, I promise you that you can and will have a different life in a year! Note that my promise is conditional that you do the work. At the end of this post I have the promises of the Year of Freedom as well as my requests of you. Now, let’s dive in.
Why is the theme Awake & Aware?
I have thoughtfully selected the theme of Awake & Aware for the first month of the Year of Freedom for a few reasons. Often times in life people get in a rut or go through the motions of getting through the day without stopping to think about why or what they are doing. That’s normal, reasonable and fine. It’s just not helpful to creating a life that you love and one where you are in control, happy and empowered. To start our journey together the most powerful place to start is to start observing yourself in life and just notice, hopefully with a childlike wonder, what you do, how you feel and so many more things.
If you want to go on a road trip typically you pick out your destination and then plan the trip. Likewise, if you want to have a life filled with lots of happiness, joy, peace, contentment, and lots of positive things it’s helpful to know where you are starting from as well as where you are going to. A peek at the topics that we will be getting into in the Year of Freedom is covered here.
Life is more fun when you have someone to pal around with, someone to hang out with and someone who supports what you are up to. That’s just a fact assuming we are talking about someone who is actually nice to you and wants the best for you. I request that you find someone to buddy up with for the coming year! Why? Because you have a better chance of being successful based on the research regardless of what you are trying to accomplish. I am suggesting it because I believe having a buddy who is also committed to improving his/her life will make this journey more FUN. I am a huge fan of fun!
If you are in the position where you feel that you don’t have someone to buddy up then it’s probably a sign that you need to make new friends, which is fine. This gives you the perfect excuse to make a new friend. Can you say this: “Hey, I’m doing a self-improvement program to give me a better life, would you be interested in being my buddy? It’s a free and fun program?” Of course, you could say that. Would you? I don’t know. Why not? What do you have to lose? Nothing. You have nothing to lose. Regardless of how you do it, I highly recommend that you get a buddy and that you and your buddy support each other for the coming year. Make this journey FUN.
Suicide Warning/Mental Health Waiver
If you have any thoughts of suicide or harming yourself or others please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911 immediately. Please call someone, tell someone or post it on social media and ask for help right now! We have more people suffering from depression, anxiety, and negative emotions than ever before, which means that you are in good company. I am asking that you take a specific action if you are feeling suicidal or that harming yourself because your life matters more than you realize and because there is help available to you. I am not a licensed mental health professional or in the field of medicine. You should get your medical advice from a licensed medical professional. Although my posts are research and experience based, they do not constitute medical advice since I am not a medical professional in any capacity.
Self-Care: A Golden Gateway to a Happy Life
Self-care is critical to health and well-being. While I superficially mentioned in in a prior post, the topic of self-care is entirely deserving of what I call a dedicated post, which is coming soon. In the meantime, I am asking that you do all that you can to take care of yourself meaning get enough sleep, try to eat healthy foods, work on managing those things that make you feel good and so on because it is extremely important. And you can look forward to a full on dedicated post on self-care soon.
Being Confronted – What That Looks Like
I ask that you pay attention to what happens in your mind and body as well as within your circle of people when you take on changing your life for the better. First of all, you might get symptoms of being “confronted” in your physical body or mind. For me, what that looks like is sometimes I get an overwhelming sense of being tired like I need a long nap. Sometimes my skin will break out in little cuts on my hands, like paper cuts that miraculously heal up within hours once I get the thing that I am being confronted by. Once in a blue moon I will get a stuffy head that seems to go on for a day or two when I am literally not sick at all. Mental confrontation can show up physically in the body is what I am telling you.
Next, there are the people in your life that might not want you to change your life for whatever reason(s). They might really take issue with you starting to feel happy and be in charge and in control of your life. It would be good to pay attention to what the people in your life are saying and doing as you begin to move into a happier time in your life. Just watch and listen and be awake and aware.
What I want you to do for this month, assignments are included at the end of this post, is to be awake and aware to how you do life. To help you with this I am including a list of things that you could pay attention to, if you wanted to. This is just a start. These ARE NOT questions that you need to answer. These are just to get you thinking. This IS NOT an assignment but rather things that you could start to observe in your life.
Be Awake & Aware of Points to Ponder:
What you are thinking?
How you are feeling?
What do you desire in life?
What do you want in life?
What are your dreams?
How are your relationships with family?
How are your relationships with friends? Neighbors? Co-workers?
What are you surrounded by in life?
How do you take care of yourself (or don’t take care of yourself)?
How do you treat others?
How do others treat you?
How do you use your time?
Do you have enough time?
What makes you smile?
What makes you happy?
What makes you angry or annoyed?
What you think of yourself?
What upsets you?
How often are you upset in any given day?
How often are you happy in any given day?
What makes you sad?
Do you compare yourself to others or your life to others’ lives?
What have you always wished for or wanted for either yourself or someone else?
How do you feel about your life?
How your living space is organized and how does it feel?
What are the areas of your life that are working well?
What are the areas of your life that need a boost or major overhaul?
What problems do you have that you need to deal with?
How is your diet (the foods you eat daily)?
Is your diet filled with nutrition or junk food?
How much sleep do you get each night?
Are you getting enough sleep?
Do you wake up well rested or tired?
How much of your time do you spend laughing?
What is missing from your life?
What inspires you?
What excites you?
When are you the happiest?
Who are the people in your life who drain you of energy or that you avoid?
What needs to be cleaned up in your life?
What are your core values?
How often do you keep your promises to other people?
Will you allow yourself to be happy?
Will you allow yourself to have a great life?
Do you have people in your life to support you?
Are you committed to having a wonderful life?
What will get in the way of you having a wonderful life?
Can you be gentle and compassionate with yourself?
Can you let go of trying to be perfect?
Can you promise to enjoy the journey and have fun?
August Assignments: Awake & Aware
Keep a journal, notebook or notes on what you are waking up to, what you are noticing for the first time, what you are seeing for yourself, how you are feeling. Try not to judge what you are making notes on – just jot down what you are becoming awake and aware of. Go easy on yourself.
Self-Care Daily: Take care of yourself. Each day engage in practices that nurture and care for your body, mind, emotions and spirit. A full dedicated post on this coming very soon.
Try to Play and Laugh as much as you can!
Notice how you feel moment to moment. How much of your day are you feeling happy and good? How much of your day are you in a negative state?
Promises of the Year of Freedom
If you read the blog posts with an open heart and mind…
If you do the assignments with intentionality…
If you are willing to have a different life…
Then I promise you the following:
Promises of the Year of Freedom (12 months): Assuming you do the work…
You will be awake and aware like never before in life.
You will learn new things.
You will hopefully look at life a little differently.
You will be happier.
You will take on new habits, practices, attitudes and beliefs that put you in control of your own life regardless of your circumstances.
You will be living a life of your own design and feel empowered.
Request of the Year of Freedom (12 months):
Be open. Open minded. Curious. Bring childlike wonder to your life.
Laugh and play. As much as you can.
Go easy on yourself.
Make self-care a big priority. Every day. You matter.
Call to Action:
It’s time for you to have a wonderful and happy life. It’s just time. You don’t have to wait for the pandemic to be over to start. You don’t have to wait for a job. You don’t have to wait one more day. Today is the perfect day to begin. Grab a friend or make a new friend just for this express purpose. Who do you know who could use some joy, happiness, and freedom from fear, anxiety and depression? Share this post with them right now and on social media. It’s time. Please leave your specific questions below and dive into being awake and aware! I am so excited for you!!!