Monday, February 15, 2016

Thirty + Project Me

I may well be the only person on the planet who is excited to turn 30. Why? Because every year older I become, the better I know myself. Only in the last few years have I even decided that its important to figure out who I really am and what I need to be happy, which was a challenge in itself. Figuring out who you are is hard enough when it's only you-- but throw a husband and some babies into the mix and there are days you are lucky to get out of the house with pants on, let alone some "me-time."

this is thirty, folks!
But I'm doing it. I've been more myself in the past couple of years, than I think I was in all of the years before that combined. In your late teens and twenties I think most of us are very go with the flow-- whatever our peers are doing, that's what we do, too, without much conscious thought.

Thirty will be my most challenging year for sure. Baby girl will be here in the Spring so we'll be managing three littles for a summer before Henry starts Kindergarten (!) in the Fall. And I'm sure my husband will tell you-- I am a carefree, delight in the months following birth, with no added emotion or anxieties from pregnancy hormones. Just kidding. I'm a crazy person post-partum, but I wouldn't try and tell me that.

But a challenging year full of life, will ultimately teach me a lot more about myself, and I am grateful for that.

And while I hope to be on this Earth for a very long time-- with infinitely more wisdom to pass along as I age, no future is guaranteed, and so I'd like to share a little something with you now. I call it Project Me-- things I've developed for myself in the past year or so on my personal fulfillment and happiness quest. I seriously thank Yoga for these ideas-- I picked up practicing last Spring and the idea for Project Me came to me while I was on my yoga mat. Its really helped me be more mindful and present.
1. Start your bible. There's a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that goes "Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet." I write down all of my favorite passages, and every quote that speaks to me-- whether it be from a book, a Pinterest post or song lyrics. Once I fill my first journal, I plan to organize them by category so I can easily reference all of the things that speak personally to me. From time to time I re-read everything I've written so far.

2. Create a mantra. Build a brief mantra-- maybe two or three sentences-- that you can repeat to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and anywhere you need it in between. Re-evaluate your mantra every few months and build it to be what you need it to be. Currently I'm repeating: "Be present, be grateful. You are this moment."

3. Create a checklist of happy. Write out a list of at least ten things that make you happy. The caveat: these must only involve you. Make a point of checking off each thing on the list at least once a week, or more depending on the activity. Some of the things that appear on my list: a cup of tea in our sun room, reading, blogging, yoga, gardening, going for a walk. It's so easy to NOT find time for the things you love-- so sometimes you have to make time!

4. 3 things. I keep a journal near my bed and every night write three things I could have done better or that I wish would have gone better today. This is a way for me to let things go. And then I write down three things I am going to do tomorrow, but I write them as if it's already happened. It's surprising how if I write something down, mentally commit to it, and picture that its already happened... how much I manage to accomplish the next day. Example, if today is Monday evening I would write: On Tuesday I got out of bed as soon as my alarm went off. I was a conscious parent throughout the day and managed to find 20 minutes of me-time in the afternoon with a book and a cup of tea. 

You see? I never did any of these things in the past, but somehow in the past year I put this together and realized what it takes to be the best ME. Can you imagine with a little more work how awesome I am going to be at 40?!

What methods do you use to maintain your happiness or achieve personal fulfillment? Maybe you'll help me to expand Project Me. I've thrown the idea around of building a private Facebook group around it (not selling anything-- just a place for women to bounce ideas off of one another in an organized matter.) If that's something you'd be interested in, shoot me a message!

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