Updated: May 31
A few years ago, someone posed a question on Facebook: If you had a chance to give your younger self some advice, what would it be? Without hesitation, I commented with the phrase, "Put It Down."
Where did that come from?
I had just recently completed a challenge to take little break from alcohol. During that short time, I had come to the realization that my bestie, sauvignon blanc, was doing absolutely nothing for me. So, I put it down for good.
But it was more than that. I was starting to realize that every aspiration I had not achieved or even attempted, was due to ME. Me? Yes, me. I was filling up my days with heavy, non-serving...stuff. On the surface I may have seemed productive. And the things I was doing were impactful and important. But...was it?
I focused on eating right and working out. To "look good," not to actually be healthy.
I dated men who were edgy, dark, mysterious. Because why would I date someone boring who treated me like a queen?
I climbed the career ladder. My abrasive tone, I am sure, did a great job hiding my fear someone was going to figure out I had no idea what I was talking about.
I surrounded myself with women who love to party, go out, have "fun"....you know, be immature, and insecure and lack feelings of worthiness --- which perpetuated my feelings of being worthless!
I was literally Regina George's mom.
Put It Down. That's where it came from. My curiosity about what life would be like without alcohol lead me to understand that all of these "things" I thought I needed to do to be happy, were actually NOT what I needed to be happy.
No, I am not saying if you drink you will never find happiness.
But I am saying...
Be honest with yourself. Brutally honest. Take any blinders you may have on (in my case it was booze, for others it may be kids, work, sex, whatever), and Put It Down.
Ask yourself if the way you are living your life, if the people you are surrounding yourself with, how is it serving you? And if you can't answer that question, maybe it is time to Put It Down. Even if it is just for a little bit to see how you feel.
If on paper you are living large but you still have moments where you feel empty, if you take your blinders off (in my case it came in the shape of a wine glass), you might discover that what you truly need to touch your soul is easier than you think.
Let's look at my list again, after I put down the booze...
I have energy to be active and the clearness to make healthy food decisions. I want to FEEL good.
Because I have realized who I am and what I want, I have a man who is a warrior for me. He lifts me up, he pushes me to be great, he makes me happy (he isn't boring either!). PS, there is no pressure to look or feel a certain way either.
You don't need to be a butthead to be a boss. I have found my voice, which is direct but empathetic. I have clarity and focus... probably a lot to do with the quality sleep I now experience. I am able to function in high stress environments, without getting highly stressed. And if I do get stressed, I know it isn't because I am emotional because I am hungover. I know I need to look a little closer at something.
I still surround myself with fun-loving, amazing women. But I make sure the people I surround myself with feed my flame AND I feed theirs (that is just as important). We know our worth. We are solid in our values. I am not saying none of us have bad days or don't like the way we look in a dress one day...but the overall theme is we are confident and cool in who we are.
Being a mom has changed dramatically for me. I always considered myself a great mom. I really did. I loved my kiddo more than anything. BUT...I WAS MISSING IT. I wasn't present. I wasn't playing silly games in the backyard for hours just 'cause. I wasn't going on late night runs to the store, because I was already fastened to my spot on the couch with my wine. Now, I truly feel like not only am I a great mom, but I FEEL the rewards of the job. She amazes me every day with her gifts, and I can see how amazing she will make her life, which is all we want for our kids.
I am my authentic self true and true.
Now, change is hard. And is there ever a good time? No matter the age, no matter the goal, there can always be a reason not to try.
- Fear of failure
- Fear of criticism
- Fear of losing friends
- Fear of losing a lifestyle
All of these are realistic and common fears we have when it comes to change. Change IS hard. Change can be challenging. But don't focus on what you could potentially lose, focus on what you can gain.
- An understanding of what I need to be truly happy
- A clear view of what I want in a friend
- My light will shine brighter
I read a quote the other day by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.”
I want to give you 6 steps to help you PUT IT DOWN.
Step 1) Write down the things you want to put down RIGHT NOW.
Step 2) Write down why, what is your goal, and how your life will be different if you do put them down.
Step 3) Put them down. For a week. That's it.
Step 4) If you pick them back up, drop them again. If you need to keep repeating this, do it!
Step 5) Journal about it. Write me and tell me about it.
Step #4 is important, and it is a part of the process. If you "mess up," it is only a mess up if you don't learn from it. Don't let it discourage you, let it FUEL you. Just keep trying. One of our members of The 25 Days said to me the other day...
"We sometimes are tempted to lower our goal because we aren't achieving it."
Are you as mind-blown as I am with that profound statement? Me too. Let's put down this noise in our life and start letting our light shine bright. Let's not lower our goals because we aren't achieving them (or even trying to achieve them). Let's instead, PUT IT DOWN. Put it down to make room for you to pick up other things that serve you. If I can start, you can. So just start. Start with Step 1. If you need help, reach out. We are a community. We are a family. We can do this!