Reflections & Intentions: 2018 Edition

Happy New Year! What better way to kick off NRSHD than with exploring and setting intentions for the new year. I don’t know about you, but something about 2018 just feels so…invigorating so I’m excited to share with you what’s been coming up for me.  I spent the better half of the last two weeks of 2017 really focusing and creating space to identify my intentions for 2018. Some people refer to them as resolutions, some goals, but I personally love “intentions” because it feels much more purpose driven. Google tells me that an intention is “a thing intended” (cool, thanks Google…) “and/or an aim or plan“. Fun fact though, the origin of the word intention comes from the Latin word intentio which means stretching or purpose.

I previously mentioned in an Instagram post that after a trip to Breitenbush it became very apparent to me that I need to slow down. For the past several years I’ve been hyper focused on achievements, getting to the next milestone and/or checking off an item on my endless to-do list, often running at 18,000 mph in an effort to cram it all in. When I realized this, it brought so many aspects of myself, and how I want to show up and contribute in this world, into my awareness.

I realized that I was creating a chronic state of organized chaos and anxiety. To cope, I would disconnect from my feelings and emotions, put my head down and, for lack of a better phrase, just do it. By the end of last year, I felt utterly disconnected from who I am…like I had lost touch with my soul. It was the strangest feeling—like I was in my body, I was present and aware of what was happening, but I was so removed from everything that was going on internally that I was just going through the motions. It felt like I had lost contact with my essence.   As a result, I had a shorter fuse, more mood swings, and trouble sleeping, which often led to more caffeine so that I could “get it all done. I had become much more reactionary and impatient and showed less compassion for myself and others. This was not who I wanted to be.

Now, classic Sarah would come up with 50 different intentions with no real ways of seeing them through and not write them down, and then look back at them going into 2019 and be like “WTF?!?” This year, I’m focusing on five intentions that touch and connect all aspects of my life including work, relationships, health and mindfulness along with the more tangible actions that I want take over the course of this year to turn my intentions into my reality.

Slow the ____ down. Keep it simple. Disconnect to reconnect.

As previously mentioned, I’m really good at taking on way too much. I got really good at setting myself up for failure by saying yes to everything, setting unrealistic expectations and ultimately having to renegotiate my priorities and/or cancel plans. I realized that it was not sustainable nor did it serve me in the long run. Instead I want to take on less, not create arbitrary deadlines for myself, and waste less time on a screen. I want to prioritize unstructured time to connect with friends, family and myself. I want to say “no” more often and not feel guilty!

Another reason I want to slow down more is because I need to address the health imbalances that I’ve been “dealing with”, like my gut issues. Speaking from experience, when we get caught up with work, expectations and to-do lists, it’s easy to disconnect from what we are feeling in our body. I got really good at this after college, so much so that when I went off birth control I pretty much ignored the fact that I wasn’t getting a period on my own for 3 years.  It wasn’t until my Mom found a functional doctor and scheduled an appointment for me that I began to address my lack of menstruation. Instead, I’m going to prioritize my health, which starts with making time to schedule doctors appointments.

  • Start each day with 5 deep breaths
  • Spend time each day getting grounded
  • No screens 30 minutes before bed, instead read a few pages from the 50,000 books I have on my nightstand
  • Start meditating, even if it’s just 5 minutes
  • Multitask less
  • Say no more often
  • See a dermatologist (I have skin like Snow White and have never gotten my freckles checked…eek!)
  • Start regular acupuncture to address hormone and gut imbalances
  • Find a functional doctor in Portland that has a focus in digestive disorders and gastroenterology

Create more.

Because I took on so much, I got really good at going into execution to get sh*t done. In hindsight it stifled my creativity and left less time for exploring, writing, day dreaming, and manifesting. By prioritizing unstructured time and taking on less I’ll have so much more time for the activities that light me up. I’ve been wanting to launch NRSHD for the past year and kept saying “by this time or that time”. Welp, that time would come and go and I never did it. I want to continue to create recipes, explore the areas that I’m most passionate about and share them with others.

  • Write once a week
  • Connect with what inspires me (books, people, art, music, FOOD)
  • Don’t over schedule myself
  • Clean up and organize my office
  • Get rid of clutter—it stifles creativity, less is more

Expand my awareness and grow my knowledge base. Stay curious.

I’ve been saying that I want to learn French for the past 3 years…I still don’t know French. I’m a big believer that knowledge, and perspective, is king. It enables us to make better decisions, for ourselves and others. It also enlightens us to other points of view and allows us to think critically.

  • Start learning French
  • Read more, 15 minutes a day or a few pages at night
  • Take more Coursera courses in subjects like nutrition, physiology and biochemistry
  • Explore different cultures and ways of living

Listen. Connect. Live in the moment.

We live in a world full of snippets, sound-bites, instantaneous results, and notifications. If it’s more than 140 characters, then it’s not worth our time. Patience is seriously a virtue these days. We also live in a very reactive and fragmented world in which we can immediately share our emotions with millions of other people with the click of a button without ever having a face to fact interaction. At times I feel that we’ve lost the art of listening. Like truly listening, being present and understanding before we respond, and then when we do respond, doing so without offering unsolicited advice. (This one is really hard for me since I am naturally a helper and a fixer!).  At times I’ve felt like I’ve taken advantage of being so technologically connected that I’ve become more disconnected from my friends and family, often neglecting to call friends and family because I can text or write a quick email so that I can squeeze in something else.  Connection—energetic, emotional, physical—is so important in life. I want to create and savor more of it.

  • Call my friends and family more often, even if it’s just for a quick conversation
  • Prioritize IRL and phone conversations
  • Practice patience
  • Complain less, practice gratefulness
  • Bring back date night 1x a week—no phones allowed

Be authentic – be you. Period.

To me this really means letting go of perception and perfectionism, and at its core, this intention is really about self-esteem.  Somewhere over the last 10 years I got so concerned with what others thought of me. I struggled with bad relationships, body image and self-worth issues, and disordered eating (which was related to a whole different set of wounds of inadequacy that I will save for another time), however it ultimately led to a subconscious belief that I was not enough and that I had to be perfect and always have my sh*t together.

As a result, I became guarded, reactive and judgmental, often times keeping my opinion to myself for fear of being “wrong” or getting made fun of. It got to the point where I ended up taking a lot of what others said as a criticism or indication that I was doing something wrong, even if it wasn’t even related to me!

I can set all of the resolutions, goals, and intentions in the world, but to me, whole body wellness and authenticity comes down to nourishing who I am at my core which starts with embracing where I am today. Not having it “all together” is OK. Being vulnerable is OK. Letting other’s help me is OK. Talking about topics and issues that might seem a little controversial or against the norm is OK. If people judge me or think that I am “weird” that has nothing to do with me. I want to engage with others and myself from a place of love and compassion. I want to do what lights me up—all aspects of my being—and give others the opportunity to see the real me.

  • Try reiki
  • Heal old wounds of inadequacy
  • Allow more time for reflection
  • Share my opinion and passions with others

How are you nourishing yourself this year?

xo

~S

February 21, 2018

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