balance and the pursuit of happiness

so awhile back I posted up this photo on instagram

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which by the end of my usual long post beneath the photo, i put it out there i may as well just do a blog post on how i stay balanced mentally.  and lots of you said YES, that you’d enjoy reading that – so here it is!

hi, my name is taylor and i’m a self-proclaimed super-girly, soul-loving hippie, spiritual, meat-head gym junkie.
let me start off with a few quotes that hit home before i even began changing my thoughts, actions and focusing on my-inner being and creating a balance mentally & physically:

“my religion is very simple. my religion is kindness” – Dalai Lama

“religion is belief in someone else’s experience. spirituality is having your own experience.” – Deepak Chopra

“buddha was not a buddhist. jesus was not a christian. they were teachers who taught love. love was their religion.” – unknown

 

before i get to how i currently balance life mentally, i need to touch on how i even got to this point and how it started.  you cant just wake up and say “ok i’m going to create mental balance in my life today” and expect it to happen. it takes practice. it takes self control, it takes more practice.

you have to work at it, every single minute for the rest of your life. eventually it because second nature..

i always struggled with negative thoughts, projecting into the future and trying to predict the outcome. usually that would just result in stress. you then look at past experiences and assume the bad ones will for sure happen again in a given situation  you just KNOW a few days from know you’ll have a bad day, because that’s life, right? you just KNOW you will fail at whatever you want to do because how in the world am i going to succeeded i never succeed at anything so why would this be different? —– does all those thoughts sound sort of familiar? have they crossed through that busy, non-stop, movie-playing mind? it’s SO incredibly easy to literally get CAUGHT UP in our OWN mind. you have no control over it you may think, because thoughts just come in, sit there, chat-away, then eventually leave.  but the negative ones leave but then still linger in your mind which again, causes unwanted stress.

if you’ve been following me on instagram for awhile, you know my favorite quote is “live in the Now”. say that out loud, make sure you truly understand what that means.  the past is the past, dragging yourself down and changing your emotions because a bad-past thought comes through your mind is not a way to live. whatever has happened to you in the past, we all have our story, is the past. it doesn’t define you, it’s no longer with you. even something that happened 5 minutes ago like you had an extra cookie, it’s the past. not the Now.  don’t predict the future, you’re not able to do that. even if you think you KNOW how it’s going to turn out, you don’t. and there’s no point of jumping ahead of yourself, because then you get so wound up and caught in how will the future play out that you’re no longer living in the Now. if you live your whole life like that, you’ll never truly LIVE your CURRENT life.

i lived in this sort of yo-yo thoughts for my entire life, until about 8 months to a year ago.  i still struggle with this “life move-reel” we all constantly play in our heads, but i’ve learned ways to “watch” the movie, then let it go and move on. not let it linger, not bash myself for having bad thoughts. watch it, listen to it, then move on…

“you’re transforming old patterns of your mind and letting go of thoughts you don’t need to have around any longer”

HOW did i decide to stop the negative thought pattern? a book. i shit you not, i was on amazon, just browsing one day, and it showed up on my side feed and i bought it. having no clue how much it would change my life.  –> this book  The Power of Now.   It’s been “ear marked” so many times, I’ve given it to SO many friends and family members to read, you can tell it’s had a lot of love!  Which reminds me… I do need to track down who has it now, because I’m not sure where it is, ha!

anyways, that book is what got me into a new mind set.  but once i finished that, i wanted more.

fast forward a few months, and i finally came across my 2nd life changing book, now this book i only found 6 months ago, and let me say, that the past 6 months if you know me, have been a major life-changing time for me.  i finally got my shit together, started making a life plan, w here i want to be, how i can get there, and made it f*cking happen. i can honestly say THIS book i’m about to share is what made me realize my inner-being was not satisfied, that i was not allowing it to shine, to be what i’m suppose to be, to do what i’m suppose to do, and i was simply living a robotic life. going to my 9-5, coming home, miserable from struggles at my 9-5, wishing i could do what i love to do, but how? then i’d go back and do it again.

after reading THIS book, Real Happiness: the Power of Meditation, by Sharon Salzburg, i got it. a light bulb went off. i literally remember being in the middle of the book after starting to use the “tools” the author shared, going up to our vacation house in the mountains with my mom, and literally sitting down with her (she’s super organized and knows how to make shit happen for herself and others, she’s my motivation) and creating my plan. how to make my inner-being shine, live the life i’m suppose to live and most importantly stop GOING through each day, and actually starting to LIVE them.

read that book ^ read both of them. seriously.

**i also want to mention, the moment i began this book i no longer wanted to watch tv, so i spent every evening sitting on my patio, reading this book and then more books. i went 4 months without watching tv, i shit you not. i didn’t realize how much of a waste of trying to pursue my dreams was taking place. i’d get home from the gym, plop my butt on the couch and just watch t.v. until 11pm. did NOTHING to make steps to change my life. ignored my inner-being because the free time i had was watching t.v. every morning i’d watch the news eating breakfast. so literally, every moment of my day was spent focusing on something else then myself.  i didn’t go into the book intending to not watch t.v., it just happened. then continued.. then time went by, my life started changing for the better, i got shit done, and realized, “holy crap? i haven’t turned the tv on once!!”  now i do watch it, but balance it, and only watch series my husband and i “religiously” watch. then when it’s over, i tune out, grab my blanket and head to the balcony to read a little bit.**

ok, so with my new found tools from the above books i created a whole new set of thinking, a morning routine to start my day off with that will benefit me throughout the day. begin listening to  my soul, believing in myself and putting my plan into action by again, simply listening to my inner-being.

deep down YOU know how to achieve what you want to achieve, you just have to be quiet and listen.. be in the Now, listen to yourself, really hear what you want in life. then make it happen. because Now is the time.

“you have to grow from the inside out. none can teach you, none can make you spiritual. there is no other teacher but your own soul”

now that you have the world longest back-story on HOW i even started my morning routine, my new thought pattern and the start of changing my life here’s my morning routine and THIS routine is what keeps me balanced, every single day. this is how i am able to stay POSITIVE, love others, share the love, do what i love to do and most importantly brighten other people’s days, in hopes they feel what i feel.

meditation is key. don’t be weirded out by the word, scared of the word or think it’s some religious hublub.  it’s not. it’s about sitting in silence with yourself. yes, some religions do chants or what not, but to each his own and there’s no real rules to meditation. it’s simply sitting with yourself, closing your eyes, emptying your mind. it’s hard at first, trust me, because your mind is non-stop. random ass thoughts will come into your mind when you are literally SITTING IN SILENCE. like “oh i want some chocolate. no i want cereal. crap, i’m out of cereal, i’ll need to go to the grocery store once i get up. ugh my legs are  hurting from just sitting here crosslegged. is this over yet? am i done? will i seek peace now? AHHH i have so much to do today.”  –> sound like a normal thought going through your mind? ha! we all have them…

eventually, after 14 days of 20 minutes of meditation every single day, you’ll learn how to tune out those thoughts. the whole point of meditation is to allow those thoughts to come in, any thoughts, and don’t judge yourself for your thoughts because then you have bad thoughts about yourself for judging your thoughts, and then its a downward spiral. allow ANY thought to come in. see it, listen to it, then literally let it go. just “step” back and say “oh hi there thought, nice to hear you, but right now i am going to just sit with myself and only myself for awhile, so i’ll hear ya lata!” and let it go. it sounds crazy, but it works. the more you accept your thoughts but then teach yourself to move on from them and not let them linger, it will change your life. because guess what? when your done meditating, you will natural CONTINUE this pattern throughout your day.  later in the afternoon, when your on a deadline at work and think “ugh i’m an awful person, so stupid, i’ll never reach this deadline. i’ll fail” but then you learn to “step back” out of your mind for a second, listen to that thought, then LET IT GO. then GET SHIT DONE. because that thought is NOT you. its a thought. YOU can control your thoughts. you just have to practice. literally practice.

meditating and letting your mind go silent brings CLARITY. it allows you to understand why you’re here, it brings forth your TRUE feelings, what you want out of life. and eventually enough sitting in silence with yourself, you will realize HOW to make those things happen. because without clarity in life, without a clear vision, you’re going to be stuck in the same routine every single day, and not the one you want.

          “i’ve got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that i’m stressing about for absolutely no logical reason” 

that’s why they call yoga “practicing yoga” – it’s meditation. your with your body, your mind, your mat, and nothing else. you then practice that even after yoga is over. as they say “it’s a mind-body connection” really grasp what they mean by that.

      “life is not happening to you. it’s responding to you”  —> think negative all the time, and negative situations will continue to flow into your life effortlessly.. change that.

i would also like to start off by saying my husband was totally like “meditation? you’re going to meditate? ok…” with that cute confused look on his face.  i’m sure he thought i was turning into some religious person.  then he realized how happy it made me, how it wasn’t a religious thing,  how much calmer it made me, how much more BALANCED it made me. so he began to understand what i meant by “i’m going to start meditating”. simply sitting in silence, letting my inner-being shine through.  i had a little spot in the livingroom with a couch pillow where i’d sit with some pretty pictures that made my soul  happy (actually photos from our trip to Africa).  i came home one day and he had hung a floating shelf above a brand new pillow he bought for me and put my candles and photos i cherish on to of it.  he may not know it (but will know now) but that little spot he created for me, my little corner of the room, is my most favorite little spot in the world now.

Photo_Oct_09,_11_18_11_AM[1]         “meditation is a state of silence; meditation is a state of no desire; meditation is a state of no past, no future; meditation is a state when you are not doing anything, just cherishing your being. you are just     happy that you are happy that you are breathing. simply happy for no reason at all. in these moments there is meditation”

**side note: i a lot of people ask me what my necklace is, it’s a Mala, and it deserves an entirely different post, which i’ll eventually do **

once you get those above books. and begin reading them. plop your butt down every single morning, WHEREVER. it can be outside in a quiet park, your bed, your couch, anywhere you can just be with yourself.

so let’s pretend i still am at my 9-5 job, so you understand how important a solid morning routine is:

i get up at 5:45: open my eyes and say “i am going to have a beautiful day today. i am in control of my thoughts and actions, and they will be beneficial to all”

i get up and sit down at my pretty little spot and close my eyes, take a deep breath and just sit. for 20 minutes.

once my little timer goes off (yes i set a timer or i’ll probably sit there for forever), i hop up. get running shorts on and a tank top and head up to our apartment’s gym.

walk on the treadmill while reading a book for 25 minutes. hop off, then head out onto the roof for 10 minutes of stretching and yoga.  i don’t know how to do yoga, i literally just move, i stretch and move. practice.

head back down, make my breakfast.  then i whip out my pink notebook and write down my intentions for the day.  THIS is my 2nd highly recommend habit you need to pick up. it’s amazing how just saying what you WANT your day to be like, how you WANT to feel, will happen. the Law of Attraction, at it’s finest people.  Example of some of my intentions “I will go into work refreshed and upbeat” “i intend to see only the good in everyone i cross paths with” “i will look at every opportunity (side note: not challenges, because then when begin to think negative thoughts) as a way to grow” “i intend to go to bed tonight proud of myself for the healthy choices i made”.  see how i never use the word WANT? wanting is different then intention.  I WILL start a fitness career. not I WANT to start a fitness career.

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then i get ready for work and so forth…

every single night (well i try to, sometimes my nights are filled with TayloredFitness awesome stuff!) i sit out on my balcony that i have turned into my oasis. it’s a beautiful spot to unwind, drink my hot tea, and read a book while listening to pretty music.

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i also have these binders, that are FILLED with inspirational quotes and beautiful photos. so if i’m having a down day, and letting thoughts take over me hindering me from the positive person i truly am, i just go through these which i constantly change out with new ones. and they bring me right back to the path i’m suppose to be on.

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i also have this huge cork board that sits behind my desk on the window ledge. a constant reminder to love others, love myself and strive to be the best i can be. i swap these out too a lot 🙂

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so after reading this book of a post… i want you to realize, that i was able to make fitness my career because i listened to my inner-being. i allowed any negative thoughts of “i wish i could change careers, but i probably can’t because it’ll be too hard” to get the hell out. and i welcomed in the thoughts “i intend to make fitness my career”.  3 weeks after reading the 2nd book i recommended i created TayloredFitness LLC. i created my online training program. i got my personal training certification. i MADE SHIT HAPPEN. because i intended to and i knew i could. and i did. you can to, just begin to listen to yourself and you WILL make it happen. i’m not special, no special powers, no special connections, just me myself and i. (and a super supportive husband pushing me from behind to achieve my dreams).

that’s how i keep balanced. set intentions every single morning. every segment of your day, set an intention. as you’re simply walking to the water-cooler at work, set an intention. it will soon become a habit, and you will truly manifest what is meant to in your life. look at the GOOD in every single situation. the moment you look at the bad anxiety will kick in and you’ll be right back at square 1. see the negative thoughts, then let them go. literally.

               “spiritual practice is not just sitting and meditating. practice is looking, thinking, touching, drinking, eating and talking. every act, every breath and every step can be practice and can help us to become more ourselves”

we’re all one big family. don’t judge people. don’t assume you’re better than anyone. we are ALL on the exact same path. we all want to be a part of something bigger. we all want happiness, success, love. when you pass people on the side walk, smile at them, and in your head, wish them happiness.  wishing others happiness, even in silence, will boost your happiness level more than you realize. so do that today. smile, realize we’re all connected. even if that co-worker of yours is grumpy, bossy, rude, whatever, guess what? they just want happiness as well.

I love this book, and this is what has inspired me to create a vision board.here’s an awesome “quote” that i think everyone should read and let soak in..


another great quote…

here’s a photo of all of my other favorite MUST read books for anyone looking to change their lives. they’re not religious, they’re spiritual. so anyone can read them with an open mind.  every single one of them i would give to a family or friend. and actually BOTH of the ones i recommend above aren’t even in this pile because they’re loaned out, ha!

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authors i love the most: Sharon Salzburg and Eckhart Tolle. I am constantly pinning quotes from them, and other inspirational quotes from random authors on pinterest, printing them off, hanging them around my apartment or putting them in my quotes/pretty pictures binder.  surround yourself with positivity and it will soak in, guaranteed.

 

i leave you with by far the best pin i’ve ever come across on pinterest…

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