My twenties have brought transitions in and out of jobs, relationships, careers, friends, homes and cities. There were times when I believed my life was completely on track, feeling an immense pride in my accomplishments and facing the day with a contagious energy and happy spirit.
But there were also times when I felt like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing; when I wondered if I should even bother getting out of bed in the morning. Never before had I experienced such a whirlwind of emotions, sometimes even within the same day.
Its been a profound experience to reach this place where I could somehow believe the world is full of possibilities while simultaneously feeling so trapped I could suffocate. These past few years have forced me into doing some self-exploration to get closer to discovering who I am and what I want out of life. I have done some real digging to learn how to navigate through these periods of uncertainty without falling apart.
What I have found is this: negative self-talk is what propels that downward spiral of questioning my life choices, wondering what my dreams will amount to, and feeling fear for the vast future ahead.
And, more importantly, I am beginning to realize that the strength of this negative self-talk grows from the weakness of my soul. Because our soul is where our authenticity truly thrives; it is that place in the center of our being that will guide us exactly where we need to be if we can simply quiet our minds. Once we get to this place, that negative self-talk loses its credibility.
In the past few years, these are the tangible actions that have brought me more clarity, quieted my mind, and strengthened my soul when adulthood became too much to bear:
1. Beginning a day with yoga
The breath and the moving meditation of yoga allows me to re-center. It trains my mind to focus on the subtle shifting of my body, on the way it feels to breathe deep down into my core. This forces me to stop thinking about everything else and instead, to just be.
2. Writing or journaling
I let out all of the negativity that is floating around in my mind. I sit with these words for awhile before I find a way to reframe them into something positive. This positivity is what I choose to take with me moving forward.
3. Confiding in others
When I say those self-defeating words out loud, I watch them fall gently to the ground; they suddenly don’t seem so invincible anymore.
Jumping head first into a new environment is one of the most freeing feelings I’ve ever known. It allows me to become so immersed in the present moment that I escape my mind and find solace in the world surrounding me, putting life back into perspective.
5. Chasing my passions.
When I do this, even as a hobby, my heart and soul are too filled with happiness to even peek out the window when negativity knocks.
I am beginning to realize that even during times with no clarity, we can create clarity. Feeling lost doesn’t need to result in feeling weak and feeling weak doesn’t mean that we have to fall apart. I have learned that as my soul grows larger, stronger and louder, my negative thinking cowers. It has less impact on my happiness and its message goes unnoticed.
So like an ex-lover weighing you down, choose to ditch that negativity. Instead, view these years as an opportunity for self-discovery. Recognize that this time of feeling lost can be a stepping stone into a future that aligns more closely with your authentic self.
It is when we are at our most vulnerable that we have the greatest opportunity to make meaningful changes. So spend your time identifying the actions that bring you clarity and inner peace – and create space in your life to do them.
Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com