What have you accomplished so far? It feels like nothing, but I bet it's not true
I have nothing, I "need" more
This year, my goal was to live more simple and intentional.
Have you reflected on what you’ve accomplished so far? I bet that you feel like you haven't achieved anything important you wanted in life. Or you simply just feel behind in life when comparing yourself to your peers.
Some of them are buying a place, getting a Master's, getting engaged/married, and so on. Meanwhile, you might be still living at your parent's (or not), questioning your past decisions in life that led you to your now. Oh, and you have no idea about what you want and what to do with your life.
But also, you are not worrying about food, clothes and a roof over your head. You have the internet, and you're able to save up and buy whatever you want. In short, your basic needs are met. Yet somehow, you don't know where you're going, and you feel like something is missing.
All of these things I just mentioned were my thoughts about 6 months ago (at the time of this writing). Up until the beginning of 2020, I couldn't appreciate everything that I have. I couldn't appreciate my pandemic-proof job, my healthy relationship with my partner, and my fantastic condo. I had everything I wanted but I wanted more.
By wanting more, I fell into the trap of wanting more success and more money that I felt like I was losing myself. Not only that, I didn't know who I was. Being always on social media, I was consuming information that I didn't need or didn't want.
I know that I didn't want to feel anxious, worried and frustrated with my life anymore. Most importantly, I wanted to feel at peace.
And now, I'm thankful to say that I feel at peace.
Here are the things I did, and I want to share them with you so that you can find your inner peace:
Take a break from social media
I used to judge people who aren't on Instagram. I thought, "they're missing out on so much." But I was so wrong. It turns out I was missing out on life. After watching the Netflix documentary, "The Social Dilemma," I didn't feel comfortable being in it anymore. If you haven't watched it, I think that you should. It'll help you understand that everything - from the placement of the buttons to the colour of the app-is all well-thought-of to keep the users on the app.
I realized that Instagram kept making me do things that I didn't necessarily want to do. I would end up on shopping websites like Zara and Aritzia and spent hundreds of dollars. Why? I had no idea. They looked cute. I wanted to look cute on Instagram. I realize I don't need another trendy clothing.
When I'm not influenced by an app about what to eat, wear, or even want, I felt free. Now that I'm not on Instagram, I have more time to explore to do things that I like.
How to get started:
- Pay attention to how you're feeling while scrolling on Instagram. If you have negative feelings, it might be a sign that you don't enjoy being in it.
- Try disconnecting for one day and see how you feel.
- If you can, try to extend it for a week. You might find yourself.
Start a daily physical habit that you enjoy
I've always been into self-improvement, but after reading and watching so many self-help tips about "how to live a better life," I got tired of listening to what I "need or should be" doing. I decided to find something that I enjoyed. Frankly, I thought yoga was super boring. I felt that it's too slow for my liking. It turns out it's what I needed to slow down and find my inner peace.
Yoga keeps me grounded in my body and, therefore, the present. When I'm in the present moment, I'm not worrying about what happened in the past nor worrying about the future. I'm just here.
When you find yourself being in the present moment, you can learn to appreciate what you have. Right now, I'm typing on this keyboard. I feel grateful for being able to document my journey. I notice that I'm sitting on this chair, and I feel thankful to be healthy. When you are present, you can learn so many things. And most of all, you can find some peace.
How to get started: Go on YouTube and type “30-day yoga challenge”. I used the challenge with “Yoga with Adrienne”. It helped me get comfortable with the names of the positions. Now, I feel comfortable doing yoga without a video guiding me.
Start being more present in your life
Meditation has the same principle as yoga, which is to be present. If there's one thing I want you to remember from this post, it's to be present. It's overrated; people say it all the time. But, there's a difference between knowing and fully embodying it. We all know the benefits of flossing, yet not everyone is doing it.
Being present is so simple, but it's definitely not easy.
How to get started:
- Find a quiet space in your home where you can be alone for 2 minutes.
- Sit on the floor or chair, wherever you feel comfortable. Set a timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Get comfortable in the 30 seconds.
- Then pay attention to how you breathe. Do this for 2 minutes.
* If 2 minutes is too much, try one minute. Do it every day for a single week. I'm sure you can find 1 minute every day for a week. If a minute is too much, do it for 30 seconds.
After a week of doing this, I learned how to be more present. Especially using the power of breath to ground myself into the present. It's impossible to think while paying attention to your breathing. Our brain can't multitask. When you pay attention to your breathing, you train yourself to be more present. Once you're present, and you see that there's no threat to your safety (i.e. a bear chasing you), you suddenly feel okay.
Journal with intent and purpose
I was coaching a new graduate nurse a few months ago, and I asked her about her accomplishments. She couldn't tell me anything because she said, "I didn't receive any rewards in university. I only work in long-term care. I live alone, etc." I thought that it was so cool that she was a nurse in California. She's also mentoring nursing students, and she's able to afford her place. But she didn’t see herself as someone who’s already accomplished.
This made me realize that we set such high standards for ourselves. I didn't think that I have any accomplishments either until recently.
After some reflection, this is what I came up with:
I passed the NCLEX (a very hard nursing exam).
I work as an Emergency nurse.
I will be marrying my soul mate.
I have a healthy mind and body.
I have healthy relationships with my parents and friends.
I'm not worrying about money.
I can afford the lifestyle I want.
I realized that these are all accomplishments. These are all things that I need to appreciate. Few people have this kind of life. Many people are struggling with their finances, relationships, and physical and mental health. But I had all of these.
How to get started with intentional journalling:
- What are the things that you have achieved so far that you believed were impossible?
- What do you know as of right now is what you want in life?
- Why do you want that thing that you want? How badly do you want it?
- Why haven't you started doing it?
These questions are here to help you realize that you are more capable than you believe. I thought that it was impossible to pass NCLEX on the first try or buy a condo at such a young age, yet here I am.
I'm no celebrity, but I also feel that I have literally everything that I need in my life. But again, I want more.
As of right now, I want to become an entrepreneur. However, I have no idea how to do that yet. What I do know is I want to make an impact. I also don't have the specifics on how to do that. But somehow, it led me to start this blog and share my stories with you. I also found inner peace.
I’m learning to listen to my intuition. I feel closer and closer to figuring out what I want in life. Even if my wants change.
Once again, if you are reading this post, chances are, your basic needs are met. And I also know that you want to achieve something more.
But by learning how to have a sense of inner peace, you might have a clearer idea of what that might be.
I hope that you can develop your practice so that you can have your inner peace. Once you have that you might be able to enjoy and appreciate things you already have. And slowly figure out what you want in life.