This week I’ve been focusing on getting in tune with my needs & desires. I’ve been doing this by talking it out with girlfriends, journaling, and mostly, exercise. I’ve been having the most “moments of clarity” while exercising – usually while I’m walking, listening to uplifting music, and clearing my head.
Something I’ve learned to love and appreciate about myself over the past five years is that I love & crave change. In the past, this “trait” caused issues for me and I considered it a negative one.
A craving for change, in the past, would have led me down what felt like a path of destruction:
- I’d get all amped up and start a new diet, and tell everyone I knew that I was doing it
- I’d commit to some outrageous exercise schedule
- I’d break up with a boyfriend only to want to get back together a couple of weeks later (true story)
- I’d spend my whole paycheck shopping for clothes (granted, these were not huge paychecks)
- I’d change my major on a whim (this cost me extra years of schooling)
- I’d dye my hair impulsively – this never left me happy (think: my cousin and I dying my hair from auburn red to beach blonde – hello bright orange head of hair, Paige, and a $200 color correction)
I think we get the idea… I’ll stop embarrassing myself here 😉 You can see the destruction that my need for change caused, at least back then.
Today, I embrace this quality about myself and have learned how to fulfill this desire for change in ways that are healthy and productive for me & those I love.
One thing that now signals me that I’m in a season of craving change (sometimes I don’t notice it, so it helps me to have signals) is when I have the desire to change my office around.
When I was a little girl, I’d change around my bedroom FREQUENTLY. It always gave me this exciting energy burst, and I loved it. Today, now that I share my space with Marco (he’s not a fan of me changing the house around every two weeks – haha!), I change around my office – it’s my play space.
When I get the urge to change my office around, I can now say to myself “Ah! You must be in a space of wanting change. Where in your life are you craving change? What do you need more of? What are the ways that we can fulfill this need in healthy and productive ways?”
The ways that I now satisfy my need for change in healthy and productive ways:
- If I’m craving a hair color change, I’ll book an appointment with a hairstylist a week or several days out so that I have time to think about the color before impulsively dying my hair black (I’ve done it MANY times before).
- I’ll remind myself that all new things at some point become old, so if I want to buy something new, I’ll fast forward to the future and ask myself something like “If you buy this shirt, how will it feel to have it in your closet one month from now when it’s newness has worn off?” If I can say “Great! It’d still be a favorite shirt!” then I’ll consider it. But if I’ll say “Eh, I probably won’t be THAT excited about it – and I already have six other flannels like it” then I’ll pass.
- If I want to change my office around, I go for it. This is a SUPER fun and productive way for me to satisfy a desire for change.
- If I’m bored with eating at home, I’ll give myself permission to eat out more. I’ll think through foods and restaurants that would be fun to eat at and keep them in mind the next time we’re choosing where to eat.
- If I notice an unsteadiness or this feeling of being “unsatisfied” I’ll ask myself what would feel good to have MORE of. Most of the time, I just need a burst of excitement. I need to go out dancing with friends, I need a fun event to look forward to, I need a fun date with Marco. So, I’ll think through these things and plan something.
This need for change that I used to so dislike about myself is now something I love about myself because I’ve learned to lean into it in healthy ways. I’ve learned to see it in a different light: it helps me keep things fun, and it keeps me in tune with paying attention to what I want in life.
Do you ever crave change? What signals you that you’re in a season of wanting change? If you’ve never thought about this, think about it now and share with me. I’d love to hear! How do you honor your need for change in healthy and productive ways?
What are other characteristics of you that you’ve always “disliked”? Is there a way to LEAN INTO these characteristics and appreciate them and satisfy their needs in HEALTHY ways?
The purpose of leaning in: When we HATE these things about ourselves we constantly push them away, hide, and shove them. However, they still pop up in our lives. This frustrates us, and makes us judge who we are. It traps us into often falling into our most destructive habits/patterns. Leaning in allows us to see these parts of ourselves in a new, healthier, more productive light.
Examples of how we might lean into the things about ourselves that we’ve always pushed away:
- If you love drinking, but it causes you a world of problems, we’re not going to LEAN INTO drinking more. We’re going to think through what you think the drinking does for you. Perhaps it allows you to relax after a stressful day. THEN, we’re going to lean into your desire to want to RELAX after a stressful day (and appreciate that you can recognize when you’re stressed and want to relax!) and satisfy that desire to relax in healthy and productive ways that leave you and those around you feeling good.
- If you love dieting because it gives you something to focus on and a purpose to move forward, but it’s destructive and leaves you unhappy every time you do it, then we’re not going to keep dieting. Rather, we’re going to let our desire to diet be a SIGNAL that we’re craving something positive, productive, and healthy to focus on and give us purpose. We’ll then think of OTHER WAYS to give ourselves this fulfillment, like: working on writing a book, cooking at home, or investing our energy into appreciating our partner and all they do for us!
I’m totally making these examples up, but aren’t they helpful to think through? There are TOTALLY ways that we can lean into these unhealthy patterns we’ve found ourselves in, learn from them (learn what we ACTUALLY want) and then lean in and honor these needs in healthy ways that leave us happier!
Share your thoughts…
Tell me what you’re thinking! Did you come up with anything for yourself as you read this post? Share it with me! Share with me how you’ll lean in and respond to your needs in healthier and more productive ways. I can’t wait to hear!
P.S. If you’ve been considering working with me one on one (this is exactly the type of barrier we’d work through) I just had two spaces open up this week. Fill out this form to get all the info about working together emailed to you and to schedule your consultation with me.