So, as you all know, I've been a reading machine, and I saw a recent book titled "The Self Love Experiment" and I read the back and immediately added it to my list to read. This is my cup of tea kind of book. I actually am currently finishing up Anna Karenina, The Gene, and The Well Built Triathlete, and want to start The Brave Athlete, so I need to finish those up before I begin this one.
While I will absolutely be reading that book, I felt that the next three months is the most perfect time to begin my own self love experiment, so I wanted to share what it's all about. It's basically putting a time frame to chilling out. HA! But, when you give yourself this time frame it's almost as if to say "If my entire life falls apart then I can fix it at the end of three months." But, I think that we all know what actually happens. You learn that life doesn't actually fall apart and therefore it allows you to naturally sink into that being the natural way that you live your life.
I just recently finished the audiobook 'The Gratitude Diaries' and it's a super quick read/audio that I highly recommend because it really just gives you perspective on so many different topics about life and how if we switch our mindset to one of gratitude the we are able to look for the positives in basically everything. One are that she questioned that this would be appropriate is in the job sector because if you aren't striving forward, then are you staying stagnant and she found that to not be the case. She found that as she was able to relax and be grateful for her current position, she was able to work harder within that, and I loved that.
So, there are going to be certain areas that we all can identify as our personal anxiety struggles that we can let go of. The beautiful thing about our minds is that I personally know that while I tend to overthink things, I know that I can do this 3 months because I have the timeline. I'm also excited that it's during the holidays, and my husband has committed to trying this out with me as well.
In his journey towards becoming board certified in oncology, he has lost a lot of muscle and strength just from having to study a lot. This is an ongoing trend of his through the years where he will gain a bunch of weight in muscle, and then life happens and he will lose it all. He realized that his body just naturally lends itself towards being more thin, and that he is going to stop forcing this big bodybuilder macho guy because in his own self actualization, he realized that's not what he naturally is, and he wants to rest within that. How awesome! GO TANNER! lol! The cool thing about something like this is that it doesn't mean that he just gives up fitness-of course not- but just recognizing that he loves staying in shape without forcing big muscles with supplements and tons of food and lifting 6 days per week, and he just wants to be more well rounded fit for life.
That's my goal for the next three months as well. We spoke also about how in fitness, there are cycles of different training periods, and how it's okay to change your interests as well. Last year I was focused on triathlon. This year I was focused on marathons, and next year I'm going to return to triathlon, but from October to December, I'm going to focus on just whatever whenever and not pushing towards any goals. We are just going to BE. He will complete his exam on September 30th and I will finish up the Chicago Marathon on Oct 8, so what better timing for us to do this together.
I mentioned that I had been tracking macros to make sure that I'm eating enough, but after the marathon, I will be returning to intuitive eating, but also not aiming towards plant based. That doesn't mean that I won't eat plant based, but rather just relaxing because plant based for me is very hard and I have to focus to be able to make it happen, and I just don't want to have to focus. I just want to be grateful for where I am and who I am.
Another area that I have identified for my self love experiment is money. This is an area that I've realized I'm quite obsessive in an unhealthy manner. My family knows this, but I'm terrified to spend money. I literally allow myself to believe that if I buy one thing, the funds are going to dry up and I'm never going to be able to afford my bills. I mean, in actuality, I don't think those things, but I won't spend..ever...on anything, except travel but only if I can find the cheapest deals on the traveling. For example, we are going to London because I found a flight for $300, but I would never say "I want to go to london" and pay XYZ cost for it. The locations we choose are based on cost. I know you're thinking that this can be a good thing, but anything that can be good can be taken to another level.
I check our bank account after we like buy groceries, and tally up everything. I calculate the amount of money needed to pay our bills every single month. THE NUMBER STAYS THE SAME KATIE. OCD MUCH? And I legit never recognized this as a problem until like literally a month ago. The moment I walked into Target and bought a pair of shoes that I needed for the full price sticker, I felt like I had taken heroin. hahaha! It felt so wrong, and so indulgent, but also so good and made me feel so free. AND IT WAS TARGET YALL. I see people spending money on certain things and I think "WHAT? HOW DO YOU ALLOW YOURSELF?" I envy that behavior. I've been practicing spending more in the past few months and for the final 3 months of 2017, I've decided that if I want something, I'm going to buy it. If we get to the end of 2017 and are broke, I'll let y'all know. HAHA!
We have shifted our funds to max out our 401K, our HSA, looking towards other investments, and we pay our bills without worry each month but yet I feel I have to save every single other penny that comes into my account. For what? Am I going to die with my little nest egg?
Money is such an interesting thing. Money only exists because we believe and trust in the value of a coin. The person next to us also values that coin or dollar therefore we are able to make exchanges for that. We all have to play by these rules or the world wouldn't continue to go around, but it makes me think about how the money in my bank account is really just invisible cyber space money because if everyone was to cash in their money at the bank, they wouldn't be able to afford it. And we all just put trust in this system. It's interesting, truly.
Lastly, on the topic of money, what is it that we all see when we want more money? Why is it that we want more. For me, it's not greed. I know it may come across that way, but it's truly not. It's the fear of security of being able to pay my bills, which is irrational. I listened to a podcast that said that we all make money out to be a bad thing, but that's all a social construct. It shouldn't be a bad thing, and it should be able to be discussed without people getting weird, but also why aren't we EVER content with the amount that we have? Even the most rich just aim for more, so why can't we all just relax? The challenge of the podcast was to write down 3 things that give you joy that cost money. Going to a coffee shop? Trying on clothes and purchasing them at Lululemon once monthly? Going out to dinner once weekly with your spouse or friends? Going to a concert or football game once during the summer? An uptown city apartment? What are your top three? Write those down. Can you afford them? If you can, then why are we so concerned about making more money? It's silly and gratitude goes a long way.
This money topic was brought to you COMPLETELY by #firstworldproblems because I fully recognize that when you are in lack of money and the security of being able to pay your bills, it's a super real issue and it's a very VERY real issue that I've grown up surrounded by, for literally my entire life, and I think that's where my fear originates. There are some that don't have food security or job security and if that is the case, then obviously, that's an entirely different topic.
BACK TO THE EXPERIMENTTTTT (wow I got off track there lol) ...
There are many things that we all have a hard time relaxing in, and I actually have quite a few more that I'm going to keep to myself for once, but the next three months is about 100% in every single way, letting it all go and just living. Just living does NOT mean that you just sit on your couch, stop going to work, and stop working out. It's actually more about fully leaning into who you are, being grateful for what you have worked hard for, and not allowing any of the subconscious ranting to even have a place. You have to pull back from the voice in your head that keeps chattering on and on about how you need to fix this or change that. You have to recognize that voice that honestly may not even be your true self, and allow yourself to relax into who you were truly meant to be.
I'm combining the lessons from these books:
- Untethered soul (Have I mentioned it enough to make you buy it yet? hehe)
- The Surrender Experiment
- The subtle art of not giving a f*** (I honestly am such a prude that I hate this title, but it's a good book nevertheless hahaha)
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The Self Love Experiment (that I haven't even read LOL)
- The Gratitude Diaries
HERE GOES NOTHING Y'ALL! <3 Let me know if you've read the book. I would be so interested to see what you think! Maybe I should start a monthly online book club as I see some of these bloggers do! ;)