Being Here Now

afterglow avian backlit birds
Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Have you ever felt deep anxiety, dread, or stress? Of course you have- they’re all part of the human experience. What about excited anticipation? Sure, and probably enjoyed it! But… did you ever think all these emotions, both positive and negative, may just be two sides of the same coin? If you’re thinking, “Wait, what?” I feel you. My thoughts exactly, in fact – until very recently.

Let me tell you what happened to me.

My body has confused excitement with stress and had a stress reaction, which for me looks like a rash of poison oak. But what gives? I’m discovering more opportunities within my freelance writing and coaching business. I started a health and wellness podcast called Way to Wellness (check it out!), I’m learning so much on a spiritual level which was one of my biggest, most important goals for 2019. Oh, and just a little trip we’re taking to Las Vegas for a full week, no big deal. I’ve been singing “Viva Las Vegas” on a non-stop loop in my mind. Because VEGAS. Have you ever been? It’s fantastic. Suffice it to say, I have more than enough to be grateful for. Life is good. So what the hell with this rash, then?

Despite excitement being perceived as a good thing (and I’m not here to argue that it isn’t), it warrants considering that certain aspects of excitement can be interpreted as reductive. I talked about this tonight with someone who’s been through the same type of weird bodily reaction, and we agreed: excitement is all about future focus. Future focus takes you out of the present moment and into a place that doesn’t yet exist. You’re quite far removed from the present moment, which is all we really have – and all we really need. When you’re excited and in anticipation of a certain outcome, your brain’s understanding is that the present moment isn’t good enough. The future hasn’t even happened yet. This outcome you’re so excited about literally only exists in your imagination – in your brain. It is not in reality. If it was suddenly taken away, what would you really lose? Your daydream, basically, because you don’t even have the thing yet.

You do have the present. You can choose your thoughts to focus on this moment. You can appreciate what you have right now because it’s all you’ll ever really have. You don’t have anything in the future. You don’t have anything in the past. You have everything in this moment.

This is my practice. Being here now. Really seeing the world around me and unpacking the thoughts in my head. Gratitude. Appreciation. Curiosity. It’s a chance to go deeper into asking yourself who you want to be.

 

 

 

 

Who Are You Becoming?

Who are you becoming?

It’s an important question. It’s a question I’ve asked myself over and over the past six months since deciding to start my own freelance writing business and do it for real. Each time I’ve had a different answer, but each answer has, over time, contributed to a fuller, more realistic picture of the person I want to be. Sometimes I’m taken by surprise noticing the things that no longer interest me, and the new things I’m willing to do, and I know then that I’m getting closer to her – the version of myself I most truly want to be. My answers to the question of who I am becoming are clearing a path to get me there.

How to get answers 

Well, first you have to ask the question, right? Do you know who you’re becoming? We’re all becoming something, all the time, because to be a living human is to experience change. When was the last time you checked in with yourself? I mean really, consciously took a moment to pause, examine the thoughts you are having, and noticing what feelings those thoughts are causing. Does the idea of doing that make you uncomfortable? That in itself can be an answer. Our thoughts determine our actions, and being unaware of our thoughts often means we aren’t taking action to move forward.

adult blur braided hair close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Who do you WANT to be?

Six months ago when I realized I had the choice to be a participant in my own life instead of continuing to let life happen to me, I was mindblown. You mean, I can just up and decide who I want to be? Just like that? Yes, you can. Routines and work and family and friends and hobbies and life, in general, create a steady energetic hum that can take our focus away from our inner voice- if we let it. But it’s still there, inside, speaking to you, waiting for you to ask the question you’ve been dying to know the answer to.

Becoming who you want to be

Start thinking from the place of the person you want to be. Make decisions in the present based on how your future self would make those same decisions. Get to know the person you want to be. What kinds of things get you excited? What do you spend most of your time doing? What kind of money are you making? What kinds of goals are you setting and achieving? Find out the character of the person you want to become and make decisions in alignment with that person.

I have become the kind of person who does what she says she’s going to do, who maintains a high level of consistency, who has integrity and is a supportive and empathetic friend and partner. I still want to become a person who makes decisions without second-guessing, who learns useful things from her mistakes without guilt or shame, and who doesn’t worry about her accomplishments being perfect but celebrates the fact that they are, in fact, accomplished.

It really is up to you. Who do you want to be? If you’re like I was, you already know you want to move forward, but keep getting stuck on the ‘how.’ I had no idea how to stick to a healthy lifestyle when I started out, but give it enough time and you’ll find what’s possible. Two years later and I’m here, on the other side of the struggle. You can defeat your obstacles, too.

Step Away to Step Up

ballpen blur close up computer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve been working on what appeared at first glance to be a fairly simple article… but it’s taken most of the day and it’s still not finished. Sure, there was a little bit of Netflix and a little bit of cooking in the middle of the project, but a lot of the day has consisted of me behind my laptop. This is a little unusual, especially for a Sunday. I think it may be time to step away from it for a bit.

Does that ever happen to you? Maybe you underestimate the scope of a project and start working on it thinking it will be done in an hour or two, but four hours later you’re still at it? It’s sometimes hard for me to take a break at that point. I just want to push a little harder to get it DONE. But the term ‘hamster on a wheel’ comes to mind. From personal experience and the experiences of people who influence me, I know sometimes the best option is to step away. Stepping away often lets us look at the whole picture more clearly than if we’re laser-focused on just one part of the picture.

It’s the weird purgatory time of year when we’re between Christmas and New Year’s and half of us are wandering around like zombies not knowing what the hell day it is. It’s been extra-rainy and gloomy around here, and that just makes me want to eat and sleep like a primal human in hibernation. But I want to finish 2018 on a good note, damn it, not a defeated one. And so I shall continue my efforts to be productive and not (entirely) succumb to my slothful urges.

Here is to stepping away in order to step up. I hope your 2018 is finished on a determined note and your 2019 starts with hope and inspiration.

 

Out With the Old, In With the New

snowy pathway surrounded by bare tree
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Wintrospection

It’s officially the winter season, my friend. On the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, many people in spiritual circles take time for inner reflection and contemplation. Introspection in winter- wintrospection? Dorky term aside, I love the idea. December itself has included a lot of thought work for me. Actually, I can attest that the past several months have been full of thought work since starting my freelance business. But this month felt different. I feel different. Suddenly I find I have more confidence, more experience and skill, and more willingness to feel the discomfort that I’ve found is a hundred percent necessary to fully experience being a human. I want to experience it all.

Winter cleaning

Last night we went to an ugly Christmas sweater party, and after all the peopling I did there (which admittedly involved my being in the same corner for most of the night), I was ready to take it easy for the day. I decided not to give myself much of an agenda, and what I wound up doing was cleaning. Nothing too heavy, but my home office has now been purged of clutter and those unnecessary scraps of things we sometimes hold onto for sentimental reasons – reasons that no longer make sense. It felt so good to pare down the junk on my bookcase and out of my desk drawers. Soon, I realized I had decluttered the kitchen pantry and the two-drawer chest beside my bed, to boot. It makes us feel lighter, somehow, to get rid of the junk we don’t need in order to be able to see and appreciate what we already have. Hm. It’s almost like a metaphor for life…

Vision planning

Despite 2019 being right around the corner, New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing. However, a few weeks ago, I did take time to sit in a quiet place with a notebook and do a planning session of goals I want to accomplish, in life and in my business, starting right now. I even bought a really cool 2019 planner that I transferred this list into – my first planner since my college days! That’s a long time ago, FYI.

When I look back and see the changes I’ve made in my life since I lost the weight, I certainly see a person who wanted to achieve goals. But before becoming a business owner, I was not a big planner. I never set a specific goal to lose 20 lbs, it just happened naturally as I focused on getting healthy. This absence of goals was partly due to having an intuitive personality that doesn’t like feeling pressured to achieve, achieve, achieve – even from within. But part of it, too, was being afraid to set goals I might fall short of. I didn’t want to fail.

I still don’t quite feel like a natural at planning, but the important thing is in the doing. It doesn’t have to come naturally as long as it gets done. It is getting done, and now I have the framework in place to maintain it. I feel like I’m winning already! What a change from the succeed/fail mindset I had for so very many years.

Doing it afraid

It can be scary as hell to make the kinds of changes in your life that you know have the potential to completely change you as a person. I know, I’ve spent a good bit of 2018 being scared shitless and pressing ‘send’ anyway, scared and asking the questions anyway, scared and being vulnerable anyway.

I made a post earlier today on my Instagram account which said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” I believe that with all my heart, and I know it to be true because I’ve lived it and I am willing to continue living it to reach my goals. Are you? Are you punching through your fearful thoughts, or are you letting them stop you for another day? Another week, another month, another YEAR? Don’t let your fear keep you small for one more second. If you’re sick of dieting but want to lose weight, don’t continue to hesitate. Don’t linger in that doubt. Bet on yourself. Do it afraid. Remember, it doesn’t have to come naturally; the important thing is in the doing. You don’t have to do it alone. I’m here to help.

Lessons from the Universe: Balance

sky space milky way stars
Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

Part Deux

If you missed the first of the series of lessons from the Universe I wrote a few weeks ago, never fear. You can still catch up right here. Balance seems to be a recurring theme in my life lately, including within my freelance business, and it occurred to me that it could be another sweet little message from the Universe. A nudge to remind me how to best take care of myself and live my best life. It seems only right to include balance in part two of the Universe series. Without further ado, let’s talk about balance.

What Balance Really Is

In strictly defining the word ‘balance,’ we find its meaning is essentially “to maintain equilibrium.” And that, I think is probably the best, most concise explanation there is. And that is because balance looks different to everyone. For example, a common saying is “a balanced diet is key to a healthy life,” but what is a balanced diet to a person who eats based on the keto plan is going to look 100% different to a person who follows a plant-based lifestyle. Which one is ‘right?’ I don’t think that matters. What matters is that the individual has successfully defined balance for themselves, “to maintain equilibrium” on their own terms, and they use that balance to guide their decisions in how they want to live and who they want to be.

What Balance Can Look Like

When I am living in a balanced way, there are a few key things I notice are in very good standing:

– Health/Mood
– Productivity
– Inspiration

When one or more of these components start to lag, I am alerted to do a mental check-in and see if something is ‘off’ in what I’ve been doing or the decisions I’ve been making.

I don’t know about you, but I benefit most from real-life examples when considering new concepts. Let’s use me as an example of an individual defining and working toward their own sense of balance.

Recently, I made the decision to take a break from meal prep. Really, it felt like the decision made itself, possibly with help from the Universe. *Gasp* I know, but hear me out. I readily acknowledge meal prep has gotten me far in learning exactly the foods and nutrients that nourish me best to maintain a healthy life. Not to mention the big-picture benefits I wrote about not long ago.

But on the flip side, I spent hours every weekend for around THREE straight YEARS preparing and cooking food and arranging my life around my availability outside the kitchen. With starting and running a freelance business this summer and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes along with that, the thought of adding meal prep to the pile reached a breaking point for me – mentally and emotionally. I just couldn’t bring myself to research/plan one more meal idea, draft one more ingredient/grocery list, or batch cook one more recipe without wanting to throw pans against the wall and run screaming from my house.

So, in order to restore equilibrium, instead of judging myself as lazy or entitled like I might have in the past, I changed things up. I discovered a healthy meal service in my city called Nourish Meals. They don’t pay me to talk about them or anything (although they DO ship nationwide, should you be interested – message me at kaceyhayeswrites@gmail.com for a $10 discount code), I just decided to give them a try and ended up loving what they offer. The food comes already prepared, they deliver it to my door, and I just reheat it. It offers the same end result as meal prep- except I don’t gotta make it! I found out about them on Instagram, where I’ve spent more time lately to post content for my business. The Universe knew just where to deliver that suggestion.

And here I am: today is Sunday, and it is the first Sunday I can remember that I wasn’t thinking about all I needed to do as soon as I woke up. I wasn’t in or near the kitchen for the usual 3-4 hours. Instead, I got to sleep in. I put my healthy meal delivery in the fridge, and I got to ride the motorcycle with my husband and enjoy a delicious, leisurely brunch. Then we took the furkids for a nice long walk when we got back. I successfully restored balance so I could focus on the things that are important to me: my time and my family.

How We Can (Mostly) Achieve Balance

Although balance will look different for every individual, I think there are a few things we can generally put into action that will help us in achieving balance in our lives.

Live a more conscious life: be present doing what you’re doing, and being who you’re being. Limit any distractions from that as much as humanly possible.
Prioritize the important things: for me, the important things are giving my undivided attention to the people or fur-friends I am spending time with, moving my business forward, having alone time (#introvert) and being a decent human.
Make adjustments as needed: if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else. If something you tweaked only works for a while, change it back. There are no rules, only the question of ‘does this serve me today’?

The last item is my favorite because I still think of balance as more of a practice than a destination – I don’t think we ever just arrive at balance, like “ta-daaaa, I’m here!” It’s a constant work in progress. But I’m okay with that. More than okay. Life is awesome, and life is a constant work in progress.

Accepting Negativity

48354964_316948758923448_3130116601332891648_n

There are a lot of sources out there on positivity that I have found leave a lot to be desired.

Before getting into the meat of it, let me start by saying the point of this post is not to suggest you ignore your positive emotions or thought patterns. Not at all. You’ll see my intent is quite the opposite. Let me explain why.

I have come to believe, wholeheartedly, that accepting both positivity and negativity within ourselves is crucial to our emotional wellbeing, and ultimately, our lives. Like the symbol of yin and yang, the light and the dark and the balance between the two, you can’t have positivity without negativity.

Yet we spend so much of our time doing exactly that – avoiding feeling a feeling. That’s all it is – sadness, loneliness, anxiety, frustration, all these things we label as ‘negative’ and treat as though they are morally wrong. These are feelings, and there is nothing inherently wrong with feeling them. Emotions and feelings arise for a reason, and I’d ask you to consider getting curious about your reasons.

ALL emotions come from our brain. But we create so much drama and distraction in order to keep from feeling a feeling created in our own brains – specifically the feelings we consider negative. We develop unhealthy ways of focusing our attention elsewhere to avoid feeling negatively when all it does is prolong our feeling of it.

We overeat, overdrink, over-numb using social media or watching TV for hours on end.

Did you ever think of these things as ways of ignoring yourself?

These numbing tools do not solve the real issue at hand. They do not make the negative feeling go away, my friend. Because we are ignoring ourselves. We’ve just painted over the hole in the wall without spackling it. It’s just going to show up again.

We don’t want to get curious about these feelings or where they came from because we know the only way around is through. We haven’t allowed ourselves the discomfort needed to experience the negative emotions that will serve us on the other side, from the knowledge and the strength gained by doing so.

I make the case that there is nothing wrong with feeling a negative feeling. There is no certain way we should feel at any given moment. In fact, just remove ‘should’ from your mental vocabulary for a while.

There is nothing wrong with you when you feel awkward or bored or restless or unhappy or anxious or lonely or sad or anything else we label ‘negative.’

If you weren’t meant to feel it sometimes, it wouldn’t exist.

Life IS those hills and valleys, the ups and downs, and positives and negatives. There is something worth learning in ALL OF IT.

Don’t get caught up in numbing yourself to your life.

If you want help identifying and working through some of the thoughts and emotions and discomfort I’ve been talking about recently, I’m just a click away. We can figure it out together. If you just have questions or comments about the topics discussed, feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Making Friends with Discomfort

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’d planned on today being the start of a new blog series on intuitive eating.

But as I learned in the past week, the Universe had other plans. When the Universe shows up with another plan, you make adjustments. I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t listen up the first time, the Universe doesn’t just stop nudging you. The Universe will get a lot louder in order for you to start picking up what it is putting down. Like the saying goes: listen to the whispers before they become screams.

Why I am talking about discomfort again

If you’ve been reading along with me here for some time, you may remember I’ve discussed discomfort before in another blog. In my opinion, discomfort cannot be examined too much! I may not write about it every single week, but I am constantly dealing with discomfort in my own life. Why is that? Because personal growth causes discomfort. Stepping out of your known -your comfort zone- into an unknown is uncomfortable. This past July (is that all it’s been!?) after years of just wishing, I made the decision to bet on myself and start a freelance business for real. Anytime you make a decision that big, all kinds of discomfort is going to bubble up inside you. I’ve found that the reason for this is two-fold.

Because you show up differently

adult blond confidence confident
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

The first reason a major decision can cause discomfort is that you show up differently when you make a decision. You took the first step in the process of creating a new reality. Decisions happen when you were faced with a choice between multiple options, and you chose one over the others. Your reality moving forward is going to take form based on the choice you made. You are naturally going to show up differently as a human based on that decision. Which brings us to the second part…

Something even bigger (and a little scarier)

The second part of decisions leading to discomfort is a big one. The second reason decisions cause discomfort is that in order to create your new reality… you are also creating a new identity. I know – whaaat? Yes. Let it sink in. The old you created the old reality, so it absolutely stands to reason that a new version of you is required to create this new reality. If you’ve decided to do something you’ve never done before, the only way to do it is by becoming someone you’ve never been before. I can attest to this because I am living it right. now.

The struggle is real

adult beach black dress daylight
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s scary as hell to be immersed in true discomfort, especially if it’s been a while. Immersion was the case for me back in July when I decided to pursue my freelance coaching and writing business, and discomfort has come up on a regular basis ever since. It can be a real struggle to wrap your mind around being present with your discomfort instead of escaping it by any means necessary. But the only way to make that discomfort mean something is to learn from it.

My recent discomfort

This past week I recognized discomfort’s approach like a storm. I had to consciously decide and re-decide each day that I would not try to squirm away from it. It. Was. Hard. But I let the discomfort come and sat with it as long as needed. I knew from past experience that discomfort meant I would have to give myself permission to feel my feelings. Fully feeling the spectrum of emotions is exhausting for an HSP since we process things very slowly and on a very deep level, but that can’t be an excuse to avoid discomfort. Discomfort is there for a reason. In order to learn from discomfort, you have to feel it. There’s no way around except through.

What can be done about discomfort

Feel it.

This cannot be overstated, my friend: the only way to manage discomfort is by going through it, not avoiding it. It isn’t easy, but it is so rewarding when you discover the reason behind the reason behind the reason for your discomfort (because our brain likes to hide those things from us in a really hard-to-reach place). Here is the silver lining: there are ways we can manage our thoughts while digging through discomfort. It can help so much to have a plan of action ready when you feel discomfort creeping into your mind. Here are some of my action steps for when discomfort’s wave crashes over me:

selective focus photo of magnifying glass
Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com
  • Identify it. Recall times in the past when you’ve felt discomfort’s effects and realize this is what you are feeling now. If you’ve truly never felt discomfort before, it feels something like “Mmm nope I don’t like this- how do I make it stop?” Discomfort may feel intense when you’re in its throes, but it isn’t life or death. You will survive it and learn something amazing about yourself in the process.
  • Give yourself permission to be uncomfortable. Often times when we feel discomfort, we think it is that we have done something wrong and discomfort is the result, so we need to change what we’ve been doing. Hard stop. Who said life needed to feel good all the time in order to live a good human existence? It’s impossible to feel good all the time. Only when I learned to allow myself to feel uncomfortable without judgment did I find the lessons to be learned from discomfort.

    notebook writing pencil start
    Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com
  • Journal. Discomfort is all an inner conflict because discomfort is only caused by one thing – our thoughts. In order to sort out my thoughts, I have to know exactly what they are, and journaling helps me get to the true root of what I am thinking and where my uncomfortable thoughts are coming from.

After discomfort passes

Have you noticed the patterns of discomfort in your own life? Do they stem from big life decisions? What else do they stem from? Tell me I’m not the only one still mindblown by that bit about your new reality requiring a new version of yourself!

Why You Should Quit Dieting Forever

woman measuring her waist
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

Because diets don’t really work

Does the word ‘diet’ make you cringe? Or make a stank face? Or both? If so, don’t worry -I’ll be making a stank face for the duration of this article, too. But stick with me for a minute, because this isn’t your typical diet article.

Chances are, with a multibillion-dollar diet industry booming in America alone, you’ve tried your hand at dieting before.  Maybe, if you’re like me, you found yourself unsuccessful not simply with weight loss, but with being able to maintain the diet plan in the first place. Not to brag or anything, but my personal diet record regardless of the plan was consistently four days. You read that right – four DAYS. I mentioned it during my most recent Facebook live group coaching session over on the Kacey Hayes Wellness page, and it got me to thinking about just how many diets we try, only to end up frustrated and disappointed at our “failure” to make them work.

Did you ever consider that you weren’t the failure, but rather the concept of dieting itself?

For the sake of keeping it brief, dieting is basically mild starvation. You apply a caloric deficit to your body in an attempt to achieve more ‘calories out vs calories in’ without taking into consideration that you’re shorting yourself satisfaction, fullness, and pleasure.

But… what do those things have to do with health and wellness? EVERYTHING, my friends. Everything. 

Because you’re more than calories

Counting calories was the worst torment I ever encountered. Still can’t do it to this day, no matter what fitness apps exist to make it a million times easier. But I understand that a lot of people are comfortable with this approach because some people work better with fixed data. However, if you’re one of those people, I would ask you this: have you found calorie counting effective in creating the healthy life you want? 

In my experience and the experience of many others, calorie counting falls short in a few critical ways. It’s hard to maintain, it can be restrictive, and it’s wildly unsatisfying. It promotes a ‘can I eat this?’ mentality over one which asks ‘do I want to eat this?’ And to me, the biggest pitfall is that it doesn’t give the human body credit for being wise enough to know what it needs. Calories are in control instead of the human being. I don’t like being told what to do, and the way I eat now has kept me in good health and good spirits for several years – all without letting calories be the boss of me.

Because diets promote feelings of guilt

adult alone anxious black and white
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I used to think I was undisciplined and lazy when I couldn’t maintain a diet plan. All I had to do was follow the steps in the plan, right? Eat what it says to eat, and exercise how it says to exercise, and I’d be rewarded. When a diet inevitably didn’t work out, I’d feel so much guilt and disappointment in my lack of willpower that I’d wallow in the misery of knowing I would never get my act together or have a healthy, fit body like the diet promised. To me, dieting was The Answer, and if I couldn’t follow a diet through, then I would never achieve the results I wanted.

It makes me sad that not only did I spend so much energy deeply enveloped in guilt, but that many, many, many of us do. Did we ever wonder why? Diets promote the kind of disordered thinking that makes us believe we can’t achieve our goals without them! What a business tactic, right? It’s only natural that if we fail at something we’ve been taught to believe is The One Way, guilt is soon to follow. When I got serious about creating a healthy lifestyle of my own, the first thing I decided to kick to the curb was guilt. I gave myself permission instead – permission to eat the way I wanted to eat and not how someone else said I should eat.

achievement confident free freedom
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Well…what’s next, then?

If dieting isn’t the way to a healthy long-term lifestyle, you may be wondering where to go from here. What’s next? I’m so glad you asked, my friend. Next week, I’ll be starting the first of a new series on intuitive eating. I am REALLY excited! It is GOOD STUFF.

What the heck is intuitive eating, anyway? There are 10 principles that make up the whole sphere of intuitive eating, and I’ll be discussing one of these here each week. And the first principle? Reject the Diet Mentality. The definitive book, which I am currently reading, is called Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works‘. As it just recently came into my hands, imagine my shock when I flipped to the table of contents and found that the principles are EX-ACT-LY what I’ve already been doing for the past 3 years with amazing success. I didn’t even know intuitive eating was “a thing” when I started out, so that goes to show how natural it feels. My blog series will also talk about how easily these ideas can be applied to real-life, and hey, unbeknownst to me it has been in my life for years!

In the meantime, I’d love to know your experience with dieting and the direction you’d like to take your own healthy lifestyle. Leave me a comment or e-mail me at kaceyhayeswrites@gmail.com.

Have a wonderful week, friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get personal

backlit dawn foggy friendship
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Let’s get personal, personal, I want to get personal! If you don’t get that song reference I am not sure we can be friends. But let’s move on…

Putting it out there

Putting myself ‘out there’ is something that does not come naturally, and it does. Seems like a contradiction, right? Allow me to explain. As a card-carrying introvert, it is easy for me to be open and honest with those I’m close to. In fact, there are some with whom I probably overshare, but they’re cool with it and that’s why we’re friends. Except in the case of my sisters, who are stuck with me regardless (although they seem to take my overshares totally in stride).

It is not as easy for me to talk freely with people I don’t know very well. Over on my Facebook page, I’ve done a weekly LIVE group coaching session every Wednesday evening and made myself available for 30 minutes to be a resource for anyone who views it. It’s a public page so, really, anyone could show up. If you’re trying to create a healthy lifestyle, comments or questions on these videos do not have to be asked while I’m going live – I will answer them anytime. This past Wednesday was my fourth consecutive session, which means I’ve been holding these sessions for 4 weeks already!  And the most interesting thing about these sessions so far is that I’m suddenly feeling a lot more willing to share with all of you.

Sharing valuable information

My number one priority when sharing information on social media, before clicking the ‘post’ button, is to make sure it is worth sharing. The last thing anyone needs online is another piece of useless content scrambling for their attention (looking at you, Kardashian click-bait). Your time is important, and if you’re spending that time following me on social media -which thank you, by the way! – in return, I want to give you something worthy of your time.

What am I doing to provide valuable information on a regular basis? I’m glad you asked! Each Wednesday, I create a space using Facebook Live on the Kacey Hayes Wellness page to share valuable information with you in real-time. Each day, I share various aspects of my life on Instagram, and naturally, some of those are pieces of what a healthy lifestyle can look like. This week, I shared a ‘before’ picture of myself on Instagram circa 2014 when I was fat and miserable. That picture received a lot of responses. I know for me personally, it really resonates when others are willing to show themselves in a vulnerable state, so I am 100% willing to share my ‘before’ with you. Who knew that would happen?!

Honesty

I don’t know any other way to be than real and honest. When I host my Facebook live sessions, I don’t use a lot of detailed notes because I don’t like how stiff I look and sound when trying to stick to an outline. I ramble a little sometimes, but that’s my personality. As far as personal stories, there’s no point hiding the fact I was fat or pretending to be coaching people to create healthy lives just for the hell of it. The honest reason is so much more valuable. I lived all the things I now teach. I was tired and fat, decided I didn’t want to be tired and fat, and took the first step on this journey. I never stopped taking steps. I lost 20 pounds and gained strength, confidence, self-trust, boosted immunity, a true awareness of what is possible, and so. much. more. I want to show you how to do it, too. 

I’d like to share with you some of the crap I actually BELIEVED about myself, my health and my life. If some of it looks familiar, take heart. You can change it.

  • “I can’t afford to eat healthier food or go to a gym, so I can’t do anything about my health.”
  • “I don’t have time to prepare fresh and/or real ingredients.”
  • “I wouldn’t know where to start even if I wanted to.”
  • “I don’t want to tell people what I’m doing and have to put up with what they’ll say about it.”
  • “Healthy or unhealthy depends on genes… these are just the cards I was dealt.”
  • “Too much would have to change to get in good physical condition.”
  • “I’d like to do/wear/be like that, but I can’t because I’m too fat.”
  • “I don’t have the willpower to make anything last.”
  • “I shouldn’t have to give up things I love just to look a certain way.”
  • “I’m too embarrassed to find out how bad of shape I’m really in right now.”
  • “Only fitness freaks and gym rats can be healthy and fit.”
  • *walking past a hotel gym in Cancun* “People who exercise on VACATION?! What the actual fuck? That is just sad.”

Some of these are hilarious now, and some make me shake my head. I spent so much time blaming circumstance and feigning ignorance about how to change my ways instead of realizing I was not a victim but an active participant. Picking up what I’m putting down? In addition, I thought if I couldn’t show up and be immediately perfect at something like exercise, I may as well not waste my time because who wants to go make a fool of themselves? This kind of thinking is incredibly common. I get it. These thoughts have not been my reality for a long time, but I still practice thought work regularly in order to be more aware of my thoughts, and make sure I’m not acting based on old thoughts out of habit.

Your Turn

Let’s get personal – tell me the real deal about you and your life. What brought you to my website? Are you researching healthy living? What healthy living aspects are giving you grief? Whatever the case may be, don’t think you have to do it all alone. Asking for help is exactly where you want to be.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or as always send an e-mail to kaceyhayeswrites@gmail.com. You don’t have to listen to your excuses for as long as I did. You can create something new today.

Lessons from the Universe: Surrender

person sky silhouette night
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

It sounds more ‘woo’ than it is

The topic of the Universe may seem a little woo, but I think you’ll find it pertinent, so stay with me here. Lessons from the universe work a lot like gratitude – at least in my experience. Once you start paying attention to things to be grateful for, the more things you notice that cause you to feel gratitude. Same goes with lessons from the universe: once you’re tuned in and receptive, the Universe will provide you with a situation or circumstance that can help you develop whatever it is you need. Make sense yet?

Every so often, I realize the universe is trying to help me learn a new skill. Unusual or stressful situations will arise right around a time when this skill could really come in handy in another area of my life, and once I realize this I say, ‘Ahh. I hear you, universe. I’m picking up what you’re putting down.’ It’s happened in all sorts of ways, but let’s get more specific.

“You want it? You got it. Love, the universe”

Here’s a very recent example: on Friday afternoon, I was involved in a car accident. In reality, it was not my fault. While I was traveling at a safe speed for the wet highway, the other driver seemed to think it would be a good idea to pull out of a gas station into oncoming traffic; i.e., directly in front of me. Doesn’t matter how reasonable my driving was up until that point – contact was unavoidable. But in spite of not being the cause of the accident and in that way not at fault, with the rules of the road being what they are, I am probably at fault in the eyes of the (stupid) law. If a witness had stopped, I’m certain they could have vouched for me, but no such luck. Them’s the breaks, kid.

Lately, I have been struggling with the concept of surrender. Of doing my best and letting go. Of relinquishing control over uncontrollable situations. What more clear lesson could I have asked for than this, a car accident, as a major practicing session for surrender! When faced with a situation that strips you of any control over the outcome, you HAVE to surrender to it. I can’t bemoan that I shouldn’t be perceived at fault, can’t blame myself for not being able to stop on a dime on a wet road, can’t feel guilty for essentially not having psychic abilities in order to have known what that driver would do. Gotta let it all go.

Let. That. Shit. Go.

As much as I believe in lessons from the Universe, I believe equally that when we ignore those lessons, they’ll come back around until you get the damn message. How many people out there go from job to job, relationship to relationship, situation to situation encountering the same struggles on repeat? If we could all decide to learn from what we’re given instead of deciding we’re going to rail against it, the act of surrender would not seem like a loss. It’s not waving a white flag and saying, “Okay, I give up, you’ve beaten me down”. It’s standing firm in who you are and saying, “I’ve got my own back and for that reason, I’m letting go of the shit that doesn’t serve me.”

My surrender mantra is currently “I can’t do anything about that.” There’s a lot more to surrender than just that, but for my beginner scope, I’m gonna try it on for a while. We all gotta start somewhere. Pay attention to learning opportunities. Next time you’re in a shitty position, ask yourself, “Is there something here I could use?” Do your best, let it go, and trust that the Universe wants what is best for you because your success is the success of the Universe! I ended on a little bit of a woo note, but it’s okay. You get what I’m saying. And if you don’t…

I can’t do anything about that.