I wasn’t sure how to start this one so I’ll just begin to type.
After I graduated college and moved to New York, I didn’t have the space (physically or mentally) to paint or draw like I used to growing up. So, I picked up a sketchbook to keep by my bedside and started to fill it mostly with words, not written, but designed in pretty little visuals that included maps of my wildest dreams, quotes that spoke to me, people, places, ideas, and passions that interested me, and as odd as it felt at the time, messages to myself about who I was and what I loved most about myself.
Then, one night, during a particularly tough time, I pulled out the sketchbook, opened a page and started to write. After I was done spilling the words and the tears onto those thick textured pages, I dated it, then leafed through the former pages and refreshed myself on those wildest dreams, reread those quotes, reminded myself of all the great things in my life, and remembered who I was.
I felt better, closed the sketchbook, forgot about it, and didn’t write or look through it again. Until another night rolled around and I found myself without an outlet for self-soothing that didn’t include distraction or destruction and I began to write again. I released then I remembered. I did this for several years until one night looking back, I realized all of those rare written entries were dated within one week of each other. They were always the first week of April.
This year though, I’m aware my body and mind run through some sort of emotional and physical cleansing cycle - as many of us do in stride with spring’s arrival - so instead, I keep this little list ready.
I honestly think if I’ve learned anything about mental and emotional health over the years it’s that so much of it is rooted in disconnection. Disconnection from who we are, the greater vision of where we’re going, the beauty and the people around us, and finally, disconnection from our bodies. Which is why the last two are a couple of the simplest and most accessible ways I’ve found for reconnecting those parts back together to form a whole. Because that’s really what our work here is about, to become more whole, over and over again.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.