“If you want to soar in life, you must first learn to F.L.Y. (FIRST LOVE YOURSELF)”- Mark Sterling
Saw this on IG a while back (like all other things lol) and thought, “Damn, I’m the one holding me back!” Don’t get me wrong, I love myself now but I wasn’t always this way. I never hesitated to judge my characteristics or physical traits harshly and thought nothing of it. I tried to change my body and habits but somehow always ended up right where I started. These days, I’m well aware of my accomplishments and constantly asking myself, “how can I make myself and hopefully someone else feel this way regularly?” I’ve adapted a few great habits over the years. Keep in mind… It’s simple, not easy.
Filthy thoughts are the enemy of success. Clean ‘em up! If you’re consistently saying things like “I’m fat” or “I’m broke” DAILY then you’re destined to be that. Hear me out. Autosuggestion is a form of self-induced suggestion in which we guide our own thoughts, feelings and behavior (thanks, Wikipedia). This is something we do often with negative thoughts and behavior (like the statements above or binge eating after beginning a strict diet)… Now, considering how consistent we’ve been at exercising the negative thoughts, feelings and behavior we’ve adapted faithfully and perform daily… Imagine if we replaced those thoughts with positive ones! Simple… “I’m fat” becomes “I’m regularly exercising to live longer and be healthier”. “I’m broke” becomes “I have a job that allows me to keep a roof over my head”. We easily take much for granted and there’s always a brighter perspective but sometimes we’ve gotta clean up our thoughts to see it. Start small, not every thought will magically be positive but you’d be surprised at how thoughts transform with a little brain flexing
Rise and Shine
: Start the day with purpose- stop stalling and snoozing. Create a ritual like stretching, sitting to enjoy your coffee and magazine article, or even listen to a motivational song or speech before you rush off to work. I used to wake up to an alarm, think about how much it sucks to wake up early and then drag myself into a negative start. Wake up with intention to give yourself a good start. Think of what you have immediately, what positive thing(s) you’re going to do for yourself and others, shed light on the good before your feet hit the ground.
Be prepared to grind. Work hard and take pride in every aspect of the struggle. If there was a problem, smile at your ability to solve it- especially if it wasn’t your job in the first place! So many of us are pushing for success but are we truly ready for the fame, the fortune, the attention or the general upkeep of that life? As you’re workin towards your goals, be sure to credit yourself for the small accomplishments and remember, there’s much more to be done and we’ve gotta enjoy the ride.
Much of our happiness truly comes from how we make others feel. Tie yourself to a greater purpose. Actively giving- even if it’s a quick (yet intentional) smile, or a joke that makes someone laugh, it’s a true gift to others. I firmly believe that positivity is recycled and comes back to those that give it out. Larger projects like charity or even simple volunteer work can really open your eyes to someone else’s struggle. Not only does this show you what’s not so bad about your life, it also gives you the opportunity to create that positive feeling for others and then for yourself. These kinds of feelings and experiences create incredible lasting memories and impressions.
I saved meditation for last because I personally began meditating before bed. This doesn’t have to be your designated time but it’s a nice finish to the day. Meditation also doesn’t need to be hours long, a simple few minutes of focus and breathing can do wonders during your morning routine or lunch break. This exercise can be spiritual for some and maybe just reflective for others. Whichever it is for you, meditate to reset your mind and cycle back thru tips 1-4. Not every day or moment will be perfect, but it’s important to create a ritual or habit out of reflecting on your goals, your day, your relationships, and your general purpose. And not all at once. Fixate on some small detail of one of those things and give it your all. Clear your mind of all things but that one detail and hold fast to that focus. Now open your eyes to the new life you’ve created, simply from changing your perspective.
More shots from my shoot in Union Market, U St. and City Center :]
Shot by the lovely Anh Ninh
Shot by Dawson Saint Jour
Make-Up by the amazing Heather Campbell