You know, that behaviour or action we lean into when things get tough? It might make us feel good in the moment, but overall it is unhealthy and not in our best interested to be our sovereign selves.
We all have our coping strategies in relation to stress, overwhelm, fatigue and fluctuating self-worth. I see this over and over again, within myself. The many ways I mask the icky feelings inside. This year, my vices were front and center, as I managed the uprooting nature that 2020 presented.
Over eating, days in bed, online shopping, and endless scrolling the internet or my phone. These were all the tools I habitually leaned into, to avoid some of the tough stuff that came up in my world. These “vices” were not new for me. They have been my coping strategies for years, however in a world where I wasn’t doing so much, I had some time to shine a headlight on my own behaviours that I didn’t like, and were not of service to my higher good.
After witnessing this response pattern within myself, I started to investigate where these behaviours stemmed from. I have had times where I was high vibing, feeling in flow, and lots of good things coming into my world. I was healthy, moving my body, deeply connected to the people in my life, finding joy and loving the space I physically, environmentally and emotionally built for myself. I was making choices for myself that put me in my worth. This agency was within, not some external piece of validation or need. I have also experienced the other end of the spectrum, of anxiety, depression, weight gain, and disconnection from my world. No matter where I looked, my mojo was low and the rest reflected that.
Reflecting on those times I would unconsciously eat anything to fill the void, seek inauthentic connection out of desperation, shop for items I didn’t actually love, live in lack and blame every external aspect of my life, for my overall poor morale. This perpetual cycle, only led to adrenal fatigue and a deep hole to get myself out of.
I think many of us are aware of the impacts of materialism and capitalism in our culture. When times are tough, we are unconsciously exposed to the idea that purchasing that outfit, eating that unhealthy food, or endlessly scrolling mass media, will result in our happiness restored. That idea keeps our economy hustling. In some sense, that external vice, will be the thing that fills the void within, and without attaining it, contentment and our worthiness is out of reach. But, even with this awareness, how do we overcome that notion?
Exploring the root of my default habits I saw that, my poor eating came from a belief I established about myself at a very young and tender age. My need for clothes, was I had another mindset that if I had a particular look then some guy will like me (but not actually for me). My lack mindset, was on the idea I made choices based off fear of something narrated in my mind and out of my control and not in service of my actual needs, desires and truth.
As I said before, worthiness is within. This year has been the greatest challenge of my life. I had no choice but to either wallow, or choose to love myself as is, without the stuff to falsely make that happen. Yes, I online shopped, yes, I ate a lot of pizza, chocolate and chips, yes, I had days where I didn’t want to do anything, and yes, I have spent way too many aimless hours scrolling online. Also, through this, I was aware that while I was defaulting to these poor habits, there was also another option to these vices that I could always activate, and be of higher service to myself.
Throughout 2020 and into this year, I also mainly focused on eating very healthy, learnt to live with little items (while spending 7 months at my parent's country town unexpectedly), used my job to be of service and support others, listened and processed my emotional baggage and exercised daily. I cherished friendships that I have all over the world and was grateful for the environment and mother nature for being so beautiful. I meditated daily, and found my commitment to this practice has strengthen my conscious autonomy to center and ground into myself, when I get triggered and in a place of inner strength. As we enter 2021, I do suspect that while we hope for a year better then 2020, as a human race, we will be challenged. I encourage you to think about your vices, and if they are in service to you.
What do you unconsciously lean into when you are feeling overwhelm, anxious, stressed or in low self-worth?
Are these strategies in service to you?
Or is there an area you would like to do better for yourself?
If you find you would like another option other than repeating these self-destructive responses, you can use this knowledge and awareness, to set some intentions for your focus and goals into 2021.
I decided to use these areas, as the focus points for my goals and intentions moving through the year. I thought, if I could focus on building constructive habitual responses, and continue to flex those motor neuron muscles, then I will be able to build on a stronger foundation for leading the life I dream to live, no matter the challenges and obstacles that come my way. It all starts with a promise to yourself, that you can choose better.
For me I will be moving into my own place closer to nature, which requires me to move through money story with the extra rent I expect to pay. I will be increasing my financial literacy, to empower myself with my long-term financial goals I have (and targeting my money story). I will be prioritising my health and wellbeing journey, and sharing this on my social media, for added accountability. I will be launching my own business, which is deep out of my comfort zone. I will also complete my master's program in Community Development, which I have loved studying and embedding more social awareness into my home, business and lifestyle. I will also lead life with an open heart, a heart that has healed and I have reconnected with so much in 2020 and early 2021.
What will you do?