I used to cry myself to sleep every night. I walked around the cold city of Chicago feeling lifeless, numb and bored with life. I would obsess over my day, and feel tremendous guilt and anxiety tied to my eating disorders, drug addictions, poor choices in men, and misery about staying in a job I hated. I would do whatever I could to avoid the sinking feeling that I hated my life.
Today my life is much different than the depressed girl, forever exhausted from her tears. Today I am happy, healthy and in love with life and with myself.
The changes in my life have been important, but the real change isn't about who I have become. I haven't become anyone I wasn't before. I just made it a daily practice to remove the barriers that were keeping me from expressing my true self.
Many of us are depressed, or we go through moments of feeling stuck in life. The fastest way to remove depression and fear from our life is to access our true and unique self.
I started to reflect on the key differences between my life today and how it was then. What I've seen is that it comes back to my habits and daily choices.
What I learned through those experiences is that life is too short to stay at war with ourselves, and the longer we make excuses and allow ourselves to stay stuck in our bad habits, the shorter our lives will become.
If you were to take a mental field trip and visit your future self, the one who is no longer struggling with the situation that is currently causing you the most stress, what advice would he or she give you?
I asked myself this same question, and in reflection of my own life, I can't help to wonder whether, if I'd asked these six questions several years ago, I would have been happier sooner?
1. Are you giving more faith to your fears than your dreams?
Leaning into love is the fastest way to manifest your dream life. Believe in yourself and the power of your dreams. Recognize that fear is a manifestation of insecurity and worry. It does not need to control your actions. Instead lean into love.
2. Are you settling?
Look at every area of your life -- your relationships, your career, your financial situation, your health, your environment and identify any areas where you are settling. Your future self wants you to take action today to disrupt the habit of settling. You deserve better for yourself, and you need to trust the big picture.
3. Are you listening to your body?
Your body is the greatest tool for assessing your inner happiness and health. If you bulldoze over your feelings, you could miss the opportunity for grace and authentic happiness. You body will tell you when you are hungry or tired, and when it is time to relax or else get out and move and sweat. Learning to listen to your beautiful body and accept it for its uniqueness will help you feel more peace.
4. Are you your own best friend?
Listening to the advice of others and ignoring your own inner guidance can keep you feeling stuck in life. Learn to trust your heart and become your own best friend.
5. Are you accepting others, including yourself, for who they are not who you want them to be?
Many of us try to change people, or to change things in the world that don't fit or make sense to us. Instead of spending so much time focusing on what is not working, turn inward and ask how you can improve yourself? Are you being kind and compassionate to your own self? Be gentle with this process; accepting people for who they are will help you attain lasting inner peace.
6. Are you enjoying the journey and releasing your expectations of the destination?
The magic is in this moment; let your goals drive you, but do not let them define you. The journey is where the fun is, so give yourself time to be present in this moment because this moment is all we will ever have.