Summer is gone and with that the earth is starting to shed the old to prepare for the new. As Fall rolls in, everything about life begins to slow down and prepare for those restorative months that tend to focus more on resting and digesting (i.e., November—February). It’s a process and takes time, but the result is a beautiful new season. We all try to enter each season right by eating healthier and exercising more—maybe kicking some old habits—and while those things surely affect our physical health, what about our mental and emotional health? We can all make time to get active or pick up a hobby, but does that really help us uncover the person buried deep inside underneath all that stress and all those efforts?
Shedding old habits and finding a fresh perspective takes time, patience, courage, and discipline, and it requires self-care efforts that go far beyond the physical. You’ve heard about meditation and the power of positive thought, but have you ever really read about and consistently employed them in your life? Changing thought patterns and old belief systems are not easy tasks to take on, especially when your inner critic is loud, but addressing them by attuning to your breath and counteracting criticism and negativity with positive thoughts—things you know and can prove to be true—will change your perception of yourself. In time, that perception will overflow into your life simply because of the effort it takes to become aware, let go, and grow. That’s where your real power and courage lie. Then, you’ll be free to flourish naturally.
One of my favorite books is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. In it, Hay takes readers through the process of identifying and healing current thought patterns, self-talk, and belief systems while tracing their origins to discover the validity, absurdity, and effects of what we tell ourselves. Our bodies do not know the difference between silliness and seriousness when it comes to self-talk, and that’s why it is crucial to mind your thoughts and words. They matter and have the power to attract what you do and don’t want in your life, so it’s important to be mindful, grateful, and loving in positive self-talk, even if you don’t believe it. Expressing gratitude and affirmations like, “I love and accept myself just as I am,” (or any of the others Hay lists in her book) will soon have you seeing yourself through different eyes full of love and acceptance, and that’s where you truly find the essence of the new you.
It took me years to embrace all of my truths and grow through self-affirmations, so give yourself a break and keep it up!