This is the first blog post I’ve ever written. It’s located on my first website that was created for the first business I’ve ever started. A few years back I was living a majority of my life in hospital beds and doctor’s offices with a diagnosis of lupus and a myriad of other ailments. At some point I thought all hope was lost and that all my hopes and dreams were dead. I had officially given up. Everything was a mess. I had to drop out of college, I lost my job, I had to file for bankruptcy because I was drowning in medical bills and I was too sick to get out of bed 90% of the time. I’ll never forget the day I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself.
The day started with me feeling sorry for myself. I was laying in a hospital bed in excruciating pain. I had pleurisy (Inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs and chest cavity) and pericarditis (Swelling and irritation of the thin membrane surrounding the heart) for the hundredth time. The doctor came into my room and told me that if I had come to the hospital 10-15 minutes later than I did I would most likely be dead. He then proceeded to ask me questions about my lifestyle which was followed by some “friendly” constructive criticism. He basically told me that if I wasn’t willing to make some major changes in my life I may as well dig a grave for myself. I’m 100% sure that I’d heard this advice before but this time it really sunk in. I had been to the hospital hundreds of times before this visit and each of those visits sucked and they were scary too but this time I genuinely didn’t know if I’d walk out of those doors ever again. This was the day that I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and take control of my own life.
I’ll admit it right now, to all of you, I was not taking care of myself. I had lupus but continued to live like I was 21 with no consequences for my actions. I was taking something like 18 credits in college, working almost full-time at a bar in Hollywood, smoking upwards of a pack of cigarettes a day, drinking, not getting any sleep, etc. Something had to change, not tomorrow, not the next day, today!
I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions but I thought I’d give it a try and with 2016 creeping up fast I think now would be a great time to discuss and admit that resolutions are important and necessary for all of us. It was 50% creating resolutions and 50% being accountable that changed my life forever. My New Year’s resolutions were as follows:
- Quit drinking
- Quit smoking
- Get more rest
- Learn how to love and take care of myself
- Beat lupus once and for all
It’s the end of 2015 and I have achieved all of this and more. It took time, to be honest it took more than one year of making and sticking to my resolutions but I did it. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in 4 years and I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 3 years. I could probably get more rest to be honest but I’m working on it. I care more about myself at 30 than I ever have in my entire life and I am officially in remission from my lupus. Resolutions are important, I used to think they were silly but I know now that I was wrong and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’m a list maker, I love making a daily task list. I write down all of the things that I need to do that day or week and reference it frequently. It keeps me on track, I don’t forget what I need to do and best of all I get to cross things off my list. I love crossing things off my list, it feels so good to accomplish something. This is how I feel about making resolutions. Sitting down with thoughts and writing them on a piece of paper is powerful. First of all you’re being honest with yourself. You’re admitting to yourself that these are the things that you’re struggling with that you want and need to fix, or that these are the things that you’re already good at but you want to be better. Making the list is the first and most important step. Now you have to stick with it and hold yourself accountable. I’ve learned over the years that when you’re ready for change, like really ready for it, you will not give up! You will look at that list, it might take you one year, it might take you two, or three but when you’ve made up your mind to make a change that “problem” has no power over you anymore. Then you get to do my favorite thing and you get to cross it off the list.
What are your 2016 New Year’s resolutions? Start making your list today and make a promise to yourself that you’ll do your very best to work on these things throughout the year. This year could be the best year of your life so far. It’s up to you!
Resolutions are just the beginning. Once you start achieving some of your goals nothing can stop you. You begin seeing the strength that you have inside of yourself and the control that you have over your own life. You can see how powerless the past can be if you choose to move forward and how many opportunities are waiting for you just around the corner.
The first big risk I took with my lupus was switching from 100% western medicine to more than 50% eastern medicine and adding a little bit of yoga therapy in the mix as well. That risk paid off as I began to get better and better every day. When I realized the power of complementary eastern medicine, yoga, meditation and breathing exercises I took my second really big risk; I changed my career path entirely. I completed all of my training to become a yoga teacher and here we are today.
If I’d never made that list of resolutions all those years ago I don’t know where I’d be today and if I never took the risks that I did to get to where I am today YogiNest wouldn’t exist. So today I am making a promise to myself and to all of you that I will continue to make resolutions and I will continue to take risks that will help better myself and the people around me. Creating YogiNest was a risk, creating this website was a risk and starting this blog is a risk but I know that as long as I stay true to myself I will never fail. I hope to bring you inspiration, stories about life’s ups and downs, tips and tricks to master yoga and advice on how to stay happy and healthy today and every day.
What risks are you ready to take? What risks have you been wanting to take but don’t know how or where to start? Try getting yourself a journal and begin brainstorming some ideas about where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. It will be interesting to see the difference between where we all are today and where we will be by the end of 2016. Let’s get started!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and yours!