weekend happenings + finding peace in a culture of scarcity

Welcome back to Monday! I’m tempted to be overwhelmed by all the negative parts about Mondays – missing the weekend, having obligations, less time to do what I want, feeling an overwhelming sense of scarcity (I didn’t get enough sleep, I should’ve worked over the weekend, I need more coffee, I didn’t get my to-do list done), and already, before the day’s even started, looking forward to the weekend.

Do you ever wonder if this is why life seems to fly by so fast? Because we’re constantly “looking forward” to things instead of enjoying the simple things that we get to do every day?

I’m in the middle of a new book (shocker, because I haven’t read a book by choice in God knows how long) called Daring Greatly. It’s all about our culture of scarcity, of “powering through” to get to the relaxing or fun parts of our lives. Ideally we’re all supposed to be doing something we love each day, but even if that’s not true, it’s seriously so important to realize and catch yourself when you look past the day and to the weekend, or a trip, or a happy hour, or even just 5:00 that night. Life happens all the time, not just when we barrel through a workday and finally get comfy on the couch 8 hours later.

Do I seem emotional? Man have I been lately. That, coupled with the fact that I did an hour of yoga before dawn this morning, have turned me into complete mush. Heartwarming commercials are making me cry, and One Republic is playing constantly on my computer and giving me the kind of butterflies in your stomach that only really personal music can give you.

I’ve been freaking out lately. Overreacting, having panic attacks, even practically pulling my hair out.  Nothing has changed but for some reason I’m not coping well with my life right now. But I do know one thing – waking up this morning and doing sun salutations while the sun rose was quite literally one of the most peaceful things I’ve done in awhile. Daring Greatly has made me take a step back and see everything in life as something to be appreciated for what it is—living! I sometimes look around the train on my commute and wonder, do the people around me realize how random and insane it is that we’re even alive? It’s too early to get too deep (haha) but really…think about your life and how crazy lucky you are! I know I’m doing that more and more lately.

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 I’m really trying to get a handle on this out-of-control feeling that keeps rushing over my body when things don’t go my way. I had a bad weekend. I looked forward to a night off on Saturday and, so is life, things didn’t turn out exactly as I’d planned. What was my response? Pure anger. I was so, so angry. I let it ruin the whole night, and I wasted it. Now there’s nothing I can do to change what happened, but it’s so therapeutic to write it down, admit it, and hopefully react better next time. No more running to the bathroom to breathe deeply into my hands and pull at my hair.

I woke up this morning with every intention of running four miles. I was going to pound the pavement and get that high that only comes from a good run. I was going to turn my music up to max volume and tune out the world. But when I woke up this morning I felt a voice telling me that tuning out the world by blasting loud music and pushing my body to its limits this morning was not the way to start my week. This morning, the only answer was yoga. I didn’t have a mat, my hands are covered in rug burns now, but I feel incredible. I woke up with the sun and now I’m going to start my week in peace. I got enough sleep last night, I’m excited for the week ahead, and I know I’ll handle whatever comes my way. Let’s all avoid the culture of scarcity and just accept ourselves, and our lives, as enough, as worthy.

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My weekend wasn’t all bad—Saturday morning I spent some great quality time with my parents. We went to the grand opening of Trader Joe’s in my hometown and it was, as expected, a blast and a half.

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Sunday morning Zain and I went out to brunch at a French-themed restaurant, so right there we were combining two of my favorite things. It was almost an hour-long walk there and back to the restaurant but the sun was out and it gave Zain and me a chance to talk, electronics-free and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. I was able to indulge in one of my favorite French treats (a croque monsieur—holy moley) and enjoy the feeling of Spring in the air.

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Also, in a weird twist of fate we passed by a CTA stop that looked IDENTICAL to the metro stops in Paris. The whole morning took me back to my time aborad.  I think it was a sign – that was a time when I was forced to be independent, flexible, and vulnerable. Who knows, maybe it was God’s way of telling me to reignite that strength inside of me, even though I’m home now

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As I sit here, writing this early in the morning, I can’t help but have this awesome feeling of hope for the week. I’m smiling because I can feel myself growing emotionally and spiritually, two parts of myself that I tend to neglect. Don’t get me wrong, I have the physical health down pat. As “healthy living” bloggers it’s basically a rule, right? But health isn’t all about getting your vegetables in. We are complicated, beautiful, messy humans, and we have many sides to take care of. So I hope that by acknowledging my weaknesses as of late I’ll be able to make a difference in my emotional and spiritual state. That way I can truly call myself healthy.

Okay—so enough about me. Tell me about your weekend! What cool things did you do or how did you relax?

Questions:

  • Do you see yourself living a culture of scarcity?
  • How do you take the time to cultivate your emotional and spiritual sides?
  • And to lighten things up, tell me your favorite animal and why 🙂 I love pugs and can’t stop looking at pictures of them. INSTANT HAPPINESS!

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Have a beautiful Monday!

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19 comments

  1. I’m not a morning person at all, but sometimes being up before dawn when everyone else is still sleeping can be the best/most peaceful time of the day. Daring Greatly is on my to-read list so I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it.

  2. I have definitely found that my yoga practice helps me so much in regards to being present in each breath and each moment. Dogs also do that for me! They are all about living in the moment. It’s an awesome reminder to be grateful and appreciate each day 🙂

    1. I always always always say I’m going to do more yoga but never make it a priority. I think once you look at it as both a physical/mental/spiritual exercise you’re more likely to make a commitment to the practice. And of course dogs are the perfect example of happiness – they’re just happy! no strings attached. I wish we were like that more often!

  3. Girl….this was such an encouraging post! I find myself so often looking toward the next big thing….and then I get to that thing….and start looking toward the next NEXT big thing. It is a ridiculous cycle and one that robs you of so much life to be lived. Glad you are finding some peace! Thanks for posting this 🙂

  4. I feel like I need to read this book now…

    What you said about pugs.. that’s how I feel about French bulldogs. And baby giraffes and elephants and penguins.

  5. That last photo!! HA! OH MY GOSH if I had that view over the city, I would do yoga every morning. Actually scratch that, I would sip my coffee there every morning!! I get up before the sun anyway, so that would be amazing!! I really loved this post, when I find books like this I love to share!

  6. You bring up some great points! Sometimes it’s hard to live in the moment and not worry about stuff. There are a couple of things I like to think about if I’m either stuck in a rut, upset by something small in the scheme of things, or worrying about things out of my control. First, I try to practice gratitude and just think about all of the things that make my life great. Second, I always think of that phrase, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. You go back and forth, but never get anywhere.” It’s so true right! What’s the point in losing sleep over things? If I find myself overwhelmed with something small, I ask myself if it’s something that I’d look back on in a week or a month and still be annoyed with. 99% of the time, the answer is no, and knowing that really puts things in perspective. And I agree that practicing yoga is a great way to start the day!

  7. Oh my gosh, this could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I literally feel overwhelmed everyday because I never feel like I have enough time to get things done. I am always looking forward rather than living in the moment. I need to make a conscious decision to be more present.

  8. Is it weird that I want to give you a hug? It’s good that you are conscious of the fact that you’re rushing through life. Most people don’t realize that until it’s too late to get that time back. Also, freak outs, even over nothing in particular, are normal and necessary. They are what contribute to your growth as a person, otherwise you would proceed as usual and remain stagnant. At least that’s what I’m chanting to myself through my current existential crisis 🙂 Healthy living absolutely includes your emotional and mental health, it’s maybe even more important. You can always eat said vegetables. The changes required to pull yourself out of a funk are much tougher. This post deserves a standing ovation.

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