Happy SOUL Sunday!!! Guest Post by my #SoulSister Emma~*

Have a Special Guest Post today! Enjoy! Thanks Emma!!!! XOXO ❤

Hey, my name is Emma and I blog over at http://percolatethegray.wordpress.com/. I am extremely happy to be posting over here—being new to the blogging world, I feel so inspired to be a part of someone else’s happiness and wellness journey!

I am most interested in personal growth and development, both for myself and others. I started blogging to experiment with an aspect of myself that is a constant challenge:  giving up the control, and relaxing into the unknown.

Oftentimes we find ourselves clinging so desperately onto what we think is control. I was going through my room the other day when I stumbled upon an old journal. In it, was every minute of my day planned and calculated as well as every calorie. That was also the heaviest I’ve been in my life, and the least calm and happy. By being overly rigid, I was setting myself up for failure!

I sat on my floor looking at these lists and notes and laughing at the paradox: I no longer restrict calories or obsessively plan, and I am now about twenty pounds thinner and so much happier.

It took me years and years to realize that this cycle was not serving me. I was binge eating and cycling through overly rigid and overly lax periods of my life in general. Overall, I was not living and truly engaging with my own life. You can call it self-sabotage, black-and-white thinking, all-or-nothing mentality…whatever it is, I believe everyone has experienced it to some degree in some aspect of their lives.

We fool ourselves into thinking that transformation occurs when we radically overhaul everything at once. I’ve been there way too many times to count. I have crazy lists and diagrams of ways to improve every aspect of my life from diet to organization to relationships. Again, and again, I took on too much at once and inevitably fell into the trap of beating myself up; I’m either all the way there or not at all.

If you asked me three years ago if I would be willing to make small, micro-changes, I would have resisted like crazy. There would have been no way you could convince me that my happiness, my liberation, could be realized by some so simple as washing my face every day.

Yes, you heard me correctly…I am arguing that you can change your entire life with a step as simple as washing your face every day. For the past two weeks, I have made it my dharma to wash my face every single night and to get my timesheet signed for work after every single shift I work. Figure out something that works for you. I am still blown away by how much happier and more at ease I feel every night when I know that I do not need to frantically get my timesheets signed at the end of a two week pay period. Not only is my skin looking better than ever, but I am able to fall asleep with a sense of accomplishment…as trivial as it may seem!

What’s next? I will be trying to get into a regular habit of taking my vitamins daily. This is called behavioral momentum. I work with children who have autism, applying the same principles: whenever we introduce a new, harder concept to our kiddos, we first get their momentum and motivation up by throwing in skills they have already mastered. That’s exactly what we need to do in our own daily lives! Getting a time-sheet signed or washing my face is something I can “master” fairly easily. After working with this, I can throw in something more challenging (like waking up early to practice meditation…).

When you feel like something is out of control or needs work, set yourself up with small, reasonable goals. Nothing feels better than crossing something off your to-do list, even if it is throwing in a single load of laundry. For example, my room is always messy. It is something I need to work on. However, going on pinterest and seeing the incredibly beautiful and seemingly perfect homes of someone else is not going to help anything. Just do one thing, something, and that sense of achievement can give you the necessary momentum to reach long-term goals.

One thing I have learned in my own journey is that leaning into a community and reaching out to others is a crucial part of the process. We are all co-creating our lives, and our own successes are caught up in one another’s. So, I want to hear from you! Comment here, comment over on my blog, email me at ecbrady@smcm.edu. I will respond, I promise.

 I want to know: where in your life are you taking on too much? What is a small, one degree shift you can commit to? How can you be kinder and gentler with yourself? In what ways are you setting yourself up for perceived failure?

Endless love and gratitude,

Emma ❤