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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Garner

3 Simple Steps to Transform Your Life

Ok, I need to be honest with you, I put that title in there to get you to read this. I’m sorry. I tricked you. I put it there because I know. I feel the same. I’ve clicked so many articles like that before only to find them filled with things that make me go, “no shit”. I want there to be only three things I need to do to find the magical formula for whatever it is I’m looking for. Whether it’s getting back into those jeans on the bottom of the pile in my closet, or being able to make my busy mind shut the hell up. Wouldn’t it be so awesome if there were really three simple things you could do? Sign me up. I’ve tried a whole lot of things like that. I’m what I would label myself as “cult susceptible”. Given the right timing, I’m your girl if you’re ever looking to start some sort of weird self discovery program, or a 30 day challenge of some sort. Bless my heart, I’ve done way more of these than I’d ever like to admit. Don’t be surprised if you see me in a long ass robe living in a commune one day. It’s just who I am.

So, anyway, I tricked you. But you’re here, so maybe stick around for a few more paragraphs and let’s see what we can find out together? Please?

I’ve felt for a little while that I’m in a sort of “pause” mode in my life. My husband has been in and out of the hospital again and a lot of the things we had wanted to accomplish can’t happen right now. I wanted to move to this new city and just jump right into my new job full throttle. I wanted to make new friends and have an active social life immediately. I wanted to lose ten pounds and be like, super hot. You know…all the things our social media world tells you are possible with “three simple steps”. But instead, our floors flooded, and our backyard is a shit storm that would cost about three times what we thought it would to fix. And I’m down two pounds. Two. In like three months. All of these things have just made me feel a bit like some big old fat finger hit the “pause” button on my life.

My husband and daughter are big dreamers. Dreaming up big plans of some of my best times with them. These plans are dreamed up at a brewery on a date night, or at the dinner table with our girl on a rare night she wants to chat. We vision these things out and they make us smile and laugh and imagine the possibilities of what we could do together. They’re real for us, and things we want to do, and I know they will. But sometimes (by sometimes I mean a whole hell of a lot) life snaps back and says “hold my beer…”. So we push those things back or pause them so we can deal with the immediate issues at hand.

It has to be like that sometimes.

Then, before I know it, I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room, and I open up social media and scroll through the pictures of all of your huge life events, and parties you’re attending and beautiful National Parks I’d like to be sleeping out in and before I know it, the stuck-edness sets in. I think my social media feed is designed specifically to make me feel like I’m missing out on something. My beautiful messy brain starts reminding me of all the plans we’d made and how we can’t do them right now. Ugh. I’m not proud of this, because I really do pride myself on being a fairly grateful human being. But, I’m a human being nonetheless.

This is what I want you to hear. We are human beings nonetheless. No matter how hard we try, we sometimes slide into this chatter. No matter how enlightened you are, you do it too. Because it’s how our brains are wired. And…this is the part I really want you to hear: It’s ok. All of it. The FOMO, the joy, the sadness, the anger. It’s all ok.

I used to be on this sort of quest to “figure it out”. I believed if I learned some form of breath, or meditation or yoga practice, that I would be able to rise above this humanness and be grateful and present and a magical joy for everyone that encountered me. Basically, I would have a halo of light surrounding me and smell like lavender oil all the time. I’d sit on my pillow and peacefully look at everyone around me with a wise smile, like I had the answer all along. I’d probably be wearing a brightly colored bathrobe sweater from Anthropologie and have essential oils going too. It’s my vision dammit…so I’m going full throttle here. That’s total bullshit, just so you know. I’m sometimes grumpy, and avoid looking at myself in the mirror. Sometimes I lose sight of the amazingness around me and am frustrated at everything. Sometimes I don’t pick up after my dog on walks. I sit in meditation every morning, but more often than not, I pick at a hangnail that’s bothering me, or run through my list of things to do for work in my head, or suck my stomach in. Because. I. Am. A. Human. Freaking. Being.

I’m learning, slow and steady here, that being human, and living a life on this planet means just winging it every day. What makes me feel connected and present today is jack shit for tomorrow. The process of figuring it all out is where the beauty really is, not in the accomplishment of all the things. We are meant to have to pause. We are meant to have to shift plans. We are meant to look around and wish things were a little different, but then circle back around again to being overwhelmed with gratitude for what’s around us now. What a circus!

The joy of these pauses in our life is we always come out of them with a little tiny nugget of information about ourselves and our relationships. I’m starting to realize that I’m not actually stuck at all. I’m right where I need to be. I’m meant to look around and notice. I’m meant to build up excitement and anticipation for the things that are yet to come. What would life be without these things?

So unfortunately, I don’t have three ways to transform your life. But what I do have is a gentle reminder that you are where you need to be. Even if it’s a total massive dumpster fire right now, you can acknowledge yourself for making the choices you needed to make in that moment to get you through it and move a little forward. You’re just being human, living your life. Thanks for being on this beautiful, messy and massively frustrating roller coaster ride with me.

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