This week Keely from A Wholesome Approach shares her inspirational 5 Things! Check it out:
My top 5 favorite things about being in my 30’s (with a few excerpts from an upcoming writing for a new online resource for women)
1 – a deeper understanding of forgiveness
There is action in forgiveness. It is a process. Literally. Look it up. It all began during the separation from my ex-husband, which quickly turned into a divorce. Regardless of emotional pain and mental anguish of how this was all falling apart, I knew at some point a process of forgiveness would have to occur. Whether this was 10, 20, 30 years from the moment or a few months…that was up to me. We were parents as well as husband and wife. The parenting role had to now come first, no matter what! And that was the beginning of the process of forgiving for all that had gone on – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I believed more in co-parenting and having a relationship with my son’s dad than remaining angry and bitter towards my ex-husband. I put A LOT of effort toward tapping into the parenting part of the equation. I knew I could not let this ugly experience continue to be just that. It had to make a (SLOW) turn towards the positive, the beautiful. Vow to put the child first. It is possible to do this and let the emotional BS be dealt with in its own time…away from kids of course. Also vowing to not hold a grudge (well maybe for a little bit, then let that shit go!).
Today, we celebrate holidays and birthdays together…literally. For example, the over night on Christmas Eve is alternated each year. Then when the other picks up Christmas Day afternoon, we hang out and open at least one present together. There hasn’t been a birthday yet that we haven’t celebrated together. Our blended family has grown over the last few years, I have a soon to be husband that recently moved in with us and the ex is still with the same woman for whom he left me. We all collaborate on my son’s parenting, with his dad and I as the final sayers. I say this simply because it really is simple. Set the goal for the higher (a peaceful relationship with an ex) and the lower (nasty, destructive relationship with ex that goes on for years and disrupts the lives of children) drops off.
FORGIVENESS RITUALS: I was left with no other choice. I had to forgive the ex AND myself. I played a part in the marriage and I played a part in the divorce. Many times during the first 2 years of our separation and then divorce, flashbacks would pop into my mind and that gave me the opportunity to reflect…on what I could have done differently, on what I felt and never voiced, on what neither of us may have had the courage to say, etc. In this, I learned to FORGIVE my ex AND THEN I learned to FORGIVE myself. May have been a little backwards but hey, that was my process.
2 – comfortable in my skin
Saturday morning ballet classes started at 5 years old. At 10, I was dancing 3 – 4 days a week with long Saturday rehearsals. Mirrors were always around. Snug leotards and sheer tights were always worn. My young, irrational mind always chattering. I’m not sure when I started comparing myself to others, yet it is a demon that chased me for years. Leading me to live a distracted, uptight life guided by other’s expectations and predispositions set upon me. By the time I was in college, friends/professors/adjudicators, etc asked me about the walls I had built. I stood dumbfounded. Not able to answer the obvious (to everyone but me). It wasn’t until the aftermath of heavy life experiences (motherhood, divorce, moving households, and caring for my terminally ill father until his passing) that I was faced with the choice to continue living the falsified version of me or start digging through it all and get comfortable in my skin. I have had to do serious inner work on accepting myself and loving who I am, stretchy skin and all. For me, yoga was a huge aid in quieting the mind so that the negative, debilitating thoughts were also quiet.
Let me share a couple examples of this inner work I speak of:
QUIET THE MIND (yoga, swimming, running, lifting weights, meditate, dance, etc): putting consistent effort into training the mind to quiet down, especially in times of stress or heavy experiences. this is when the full-of-fear thoughts would kick in most. this is also when i needed them the least. GO FIGURE!
FEED THE BODY WHAT IT NEEDS ALL THE TIME, AND WHAT IT WANTS SOME OF THE TIME: getting in touch with what your body likes to eat and digest and enjoying the process of eating/feeding/preparing/digesting. Slow down and play with a ritual for eating meals. Maybe silent prayer or affirmation when sitting down. Or out loud prayer while holding hands. Find what works for you and cherish the ability to consume and nourish.
EMBRACE YOUR QUIRKS/ISMS: this is probably the hardest tip for some, yet once accomplished the most fun! I always felt like I had to be this proper, kind person that knew what/when/how to say something. Or politely not say anything at all. Well this act only got me so far. Once I learned to let go and open up to the isms that so badly wanted/needed to come out, my life blossomed. AND, I became pretty damn funny!
3 – clearer voice
Have you ever wondered how you would view yourself if you could look into the past? Like watch a video of your life, press rewind and see what your thoughts were, how you spoke or didn’t, what your mannerisms were like, etc. I have and let me tell you, what a difference there would be! In the past, people would call me sweet, kind, polite, respectful, shy. I would cling to these descriptions that others offered because I didn’t know there was another way. I didn’t understand that there were other parts of me that made up the whole. By keeping quiet I had suppressed independent thought, authentic choice, decisions based on reason…all leading to a quiet voice.
The last few years of living, I like to refer to as Operation Transformation! As I once clung to the descriptive words – shy, indecisive, emotional roller coaster, scared of opinions. Today, I’m less concerned about how others may describe me. So I would say I’m on a quest to get back to what is true, natural, whole and sustainable. Within the me, there is a we. I am a mother, daughter, a partner, a friend, a dancer, a teacher, a choreographer, a wanna be yogi, a cook, a reader, a thinker, a digger. I am a pursuer of truth. With a quirky sense of humor. A lover of words and gets playful with them. There is a deep connectedness to nature and the “well” of beings. BAM!
4 – fear has left the building
Fear is one of those things that gets talked about A LOT! As I write this I think, “Really…you’re going to mention fear.” But I must. It is popular because it is common within so many of our stories and has held a tight grip to so many lives. As I have reflected upon earlier years, I have seen such opportunity bypassed simply because I was afraid of my own power of taking that opportunity by the horns. Fear is an emotion therefore it is fleeting. Never constant yet comes up again and again and again so may feel constant to some. People’s experiences with fear are very different. Yet it must be dealt with for any sort of deep transformation to take place.
5 – my mistakes have turned into masterpieces
There is a song by Teitur called “All My Mistakes” which continues to the mistakes transforming into masterpieces! I found this play on words just brilliant! Kind of a theme of my life up until now. We all have a story, its up to us whether we use the stories (good, bad, ugly, pretty, etc) to propel us into our ideal life or hold us back. With a lot of reflection and studying of life, it is amazing what comes of a little commitment, a whole lot of consistency and cooperation with ourselves. We are magnificent, even when our choices/thoughts/actions may not always be. We have the power to change at any moment. And that is a masterpiece all in itself.
About the Author
Keely is a mother, a daughter, a partner, a friend, a teacher, a dancer, a choreographer, a wanna be yogi, a cook, a reader, a thinker, a digger. Follower her insights and journey through life, dance, health and wellness (with som fab recipes!) at A Wholesome Approach.