Yes, you read that right. I am intentionally aiming to become more selfish. While I realize most people are typically working towards the opposite, I am working really hard to shift my focus and energy inward towards myself: my needs, my wants, my goals and my desires. All with good reason. I promise.
I love when I stumble across a recipe that is so good it quickly becomes one of my "go-to" meals. In order to make that list it must be packed full of nutrition, relatively cheap, quick to make, and most importantly, good! This dish hits all of those categories and is incredibly fast to pull together if you've made the farro, lentils and pesto ahead of time.
A few weeks ago I heard a great message at church centered around the quote above. Take a few minutes to simply stop and ponder these words for the truth they speak.
I've been working on being more mindful about passing judgment and making comparisons this year. I don't think I'm particularly bad when it comes to this, but I do know it is an area where improvement can be made. I think this has been a particular point of focus for me due to the fact that I'm now a mom and have two little people following me around. If you don't think your wee one is paying attention to how you act, respond, and carry yourself throughout the day think again! They are much more in tune with what is going on then you likely give him/her credit for.
As I've been watching this play out in my own life lately it has made me keenly aware of the way I choose to react to situations throughout the day. I'm starting to realize that our two year old daughter is watching each move and hearing every word that comes out of my mouth (and has been for quite some time). She is learning to respond to the world around her based on how mommy (and daddy) react so I want to make sure I'm setting a positive example for her.
Enter the Theodore Roosevelt quote. As a female, it is so hard to escape the comparison game. Guys are comparing us to those super models on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover as well as their last girlfriend. As females we compare ourselves to other women as well as those impossibly skinny yet busty figures that the media tells us are "beautiful" and "perfect". I've noticed how this is particularly a problem when it comes to pregnancy and post natal recovery. There is so much judgment passed on the various shapes of pregnant bellies (i.e., "Look how tiny your bump is!") and many blessings lauded at those select few who are able to lose the baby weight within a short time period. Before you know it you've created a daily habit of constantly sizing up and comparing yourself to every other woman you encounter. Down the deep, dark hole of comparison you have fallen.
I love this line from Lululemon Athletica's mantra: "Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to". Have you ever stopped long enough to process how you actually feel after comparing yourself to that model on your Cosmopolitan magazine? Personally, envying someone's life, job, body, etc. never leaves me feeling on top of the world.
While I can't say I've completely cured myself of falling prey to the comparison game, I have made an intentional effort to focus on myself (my health, my body, my soul, my roles) vs others. Keeping my personal goals in front of me and thinking of the improvements that are needed to take me there has helped. It doesn't leave me as much time to focus on how fast the girl next to me on the treadmill is running or how many push ups she just finished. Instead, I am able to keep my head in the game and focus on the task at hand: completing my workout to the best of my ability. Paying compliments and lifting up other women (those I know personally as well as strangers) has been another game changer for me. It is a powerful release of jealousy to truly be happy and wish well other strong women. If only we could all be so kind and move towards a society where we build each other up instead of tearing each other down. What a world that would be!
My challenge to you this week is to choose happiness over jealousy. Choose positive over negative. Choose to see yourself as beautifully imperfect rather than inferior to anyone. Put the emphasis on YOU: where you want to be and what it will take to make that happen. Remember, wellness is multi-dimensional and comprised of more than just physicality. Get your head on straight, fill it with good thoughts (for yourself and others) and you will be shocked at how the other areas of your life will change for the better.
Is this an area where you need improvement? If so, what steps can you begin to take to free yourself from those feelings of jealousy?
I can't believe it's been nearly eight months since my last post. Well, actually I can. It has been a long and trying last 10-12 months in our home. I found out I was pregnant with our second baby one year ago in March. The onset of severe morning sickness was immediate just as it had been with my first pregnancy.