Positive Affirmations

Hey friends! I hope you are having an awesome day. I started mine off with a cup of coffee, a meditative walk, and a podcast I am OBSESSED with called Finding Body Freedom. My plans for today are to eat some yummy food, catch some rays in the pool, and hit up a yoga class tonight. Ahhh don’t ya just love summer?

So today I wanted to talk to you guys about something that has been SO helpful in my life/recovery. Something that I practice each and every day, and something that consistently reminds me who I am and where I’m going. Drum roll pleaseeeeee….

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Positive affirmations are basically positive statements that you tell yourself over and over until you finally start to believe them. The important thing about positive affirmations is speaking as if what you WANT to happen is ALREADY happening. For example:

If you’re struggling with anxiety, instead of hoping that one day you will be brave enough to do xyz…your positive affirmation would be:

I am brave. Today I am brave. I am brave right now.

Get it? So you’re constantly speaking in the present tense, speaking the life and truth that you want for yourself.

There are simple affirmations…

  • I am strong.
  • I can do this.
  • I have a purpose.

…and more specific affirmations to match your current situation/struggle. Here are a few of my favorite affirmations that have helped me tremendously in my eating disorder recovery:

  • I am not more valuable if I take up less space.
  • I am MORE than my body.
  • I am a SOUL with a body, NOT a body with a soul.
  • My appearance, weight, etc does not determine my value.

I know at first this may sound a little cheesy and overly-positive but I am telling you, it works. It really does. If you’re new to this, maybe just start out saying a simple affirmation once a day. Anyone can do that, right? Once you start seeing the impact of that affirmation (and you will), increase the amount of times you say it and HOW you say it. One of the coolest ways I’ve learned how to say affirmations is to stand in front of the mirror, look yourself  in the eye, and speak your truth. At first, this is hard. Very hard. But the more you do it, the easier it gets and the more you start to believe it. Looking in the mirror every day and telling myself “I am beautiful” has completely changed things for me. Try it for yourself.

Last year, I was in an IOP (intensive outpatient program) where we did this really neat positive affirmation practice. The leader of the group started out by telling us all to go outside, look around, and write about something we thought was beautiful. People wrote about the flowers and the grass, the tall buildings and the butterflies. As for me? I wrote about the sky, of course. (Those who know me know about my weird obsession with the sky). As someone who loves to write and loves the sky, I was all over this. I wrote about how it was open and expansive, beautiful and calming. I wrote and wrote and wrote until the leader called us back in the room.

Once we were inside, she told us all to read what we had written. But then, she pulled a trick on us. Whatever we had written about, we had to cross out that word (“sky”) and put the word “I” instead. Then we had to read it out loud. Mine sounded a little something like this:

“I am open. I am expansive. I am beautiful. I am calm.”

And it went on and on and on. This was such a powerful experience and one that I will never forget. If God spent so much time making a beautiful sky and flowers for us to enjoy, just imagine how much more time he spent on us. His people, his humans, his children. His greatest accomplishment and most prized possession.

How funny it is that it’s so easy to see the beauty in His creation, but so hard to see the beauty in ourselves. 

So I know this is more of an extreme example, but learning to view myself in a positive light, an empowered light has changed everything. And know that it’s okay to say affirmations that you may not believe at first. This is TOTALLY normal. When I first started saying “I am brave”, I did not believe it at all. I was at a point where I was crippled with anxiety and tied down by my fears. I was the opposite of brave. But day after day, I filled myself with that truth:

Scared to go on a first date? “I am brave.” And look, now I have Chris ❤

Scared to go to school? “I am brave.” And now I have a degree.

Scared to go to yoga training? “I am brave.” And I completed my first weekend of training. Sore as frick, but I did it.

Trust me, you are these things. You are brave, you are beautiful, you are capable. Your sneaky little mind is the only thing keeping you from believing the truth. Fight against it, would you? Tell your brain to shut up. Tell your brain to quiet down. And tell yourself that YOU are in control, YOU have the power inside of you, and YOU will fulfill the affirmations you set for yourself if only you give it a try.

Love you all!

Tate

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the PROBLEM with PROBLEMS

Problems. We all have them, and in one way or another, we all handle them. Some of us avoid them, some of us tackle them head on, and some of us go about it at more of a leisurely pace, thinking “it will all work out in the end.” Whatever your technique, problems are inevitable and we must deal with them in order to move on with our lives. However, there is one big problem about problems (hahahah) and that is this:

It’s important to look at the problem in your life, but your problem shouldn’t BE your life

Let me elaborate: Dealing with your problems is a GOOD thing, a HEALTHY thing. But it can turn into a not-so-good, not-so-healthy thing if your whole entire life is about solving your problem. Life is not one big math equation and there is not one perfect solution. Bummer, I know :/ If we spend our whole entire life trying to solve that problem or find that solution, we will waste our life. One problem is not worth one life, regardless of how big it is.

Let me explain even more: Most of you know I’m recovering from anorexia. The past seven years of my life have been dedicated to recovery. I’ve spent years and years in all sorts of treatments, from inpatient to outpatient to IOP’s to groups to individual therapy and on and on and on. I’ve had to focus a lot on my eating disorder because my life actually depended on it. Had I not spent so long fighting for recovery, I would not be here today. Eating disorders are exhausting, soul-sucking, and ultimately life-threatening. And that was my problem.

However, a few weeks ago, I realized an awful truth: My eating disorder had become my life. It was no longer a problem IN my life, but my life ITSELF. When people asked me who I was and what I did, my first thought was “Well I count calories and exercise obsessively and cry about food and *insert more eating disorder behaviors here). I no longer had a life anymore. ED had stolen it.

As much as this realization sucked, it made me really think about the life I want to live vs the life I’m living. I don’t want my life to be my eating disorder; I want my life to be free and happy and balanced and fun. I want my life to be full of people and places and traveling and yes…even food. I want to take back my life, the life that was never ED’s in the first place.

Maybe you don’t have an eating disorder. Maybe this isn’t making sense to you at all. But my guess is, you probably have some type of problem in your life right now. What I want to do is encourage you to take a step back and honestly look at how much of that problem is taking up your life. Do you feel like you’re living life and this is just a problem in it? Or do you feel like you’re living in your problem and life is just what happens in the meantime? It’s a weird concept to wrap your head around, but definitely something to think about.

Because when it comes down to it, life is short. So so unbelievably short. And I don’t want to spend my life going from problem to problem or in my case, being stuck on the same problem forever. Life isn’t about solving problems; life is about living. So I urge you to really let that sink in and do some introspection about the problems you have in your own life. Just remember, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical). But really, I’m in the same boat. We all are. Let’s tackle our problems together, tell them to shut the eff up and LEAVE, and get on with LIVING our LIFE, shall we?

xoxooxxoxo

Tate