Your Magenta Monday Magic.
We’re almost there, but our health conversation wouldn’t be complete without touching on the importance of our spiritual and mental health, two areas that are interconnected and capable of positively influencing our overall sense of well-being.
Whether you belong to an organized community of worship or you believe in a higher power that is harder to categorize, there’s no denying the importance of having some kind of spiritual practice in your life. That’s certainly been my experience, though it took me many years to develop.
When I was little, the extent of my religious experience involved attending Episcopal church services and occasionally going to Sunday school – where I once crafted a 3D Jesus of all things! That is to say, religion did not play a big part in my life growing up.
It wasn’t until I went away to college – and a series of events unfolded – that I began to actively seek some answers around faith. During my Freshman year, my Dad passed away. While he and my Mom had been divorced for over a decade, and he wasn’t a regular presence in my life, I felt pretty wobbly when I was given the news. I loved him. He was my dad, and we may not have had a close relationship, but it was still a significant loss.
That summer I decided to stay in San Diego with my best friend. I signed up for a marketing class at the local community college, and we both found jobs in the area. I worked at a Mexican restaurant in Old Town, and one day when I called in to get my hours, I was informed that the previous night’s deposit had gone missing – and they accused me of having taken it! I was completely rocked. How could someone think I could do such a thing?
Fast forward a few years to when I was married and pregnant with my first child. I answered a call from my Mom on Mother’s Day only to learn that my sister had passed away – she had been found – by my mom – on Mother’s Day. It rattled me to my core – I just couldn’t wrap my head around what I was being told. What’s more, I had difficulty understanding why all these things were happening to me.
Lacking any kind of traditional faith to turn to for answers, I started developing the philosophy that everything must happen for a reason. Even though I was devastated, holding on to that belief seemed to anchor me and give me hope.
That spiritual philosophy evolved and deepened over the course of my life. Today I have complete and total Trust (with a capital T) that whatever is meant to be will happen and that there is always a higher power at work.
When something happens that isn’t necessarily in my plan, instead of asking ‘why is this happening TO me?’ I ask, ‘why is this happening FOR me?’
Changing that single word transforms my response to any situation. It allows me to look for what the event can teach me – turning it into something that will fuel my growth rather than debilitate me.
Of course, it’s not a magic bullet – the pain is still there, but it allows me to hold my grief and pain alongside my joy and love. When I lose someone, and I’m left with a hole inside, I can still feel gratitude for how much I loved them. I still cry when I miss them, but I can also laugh when I think of something funny they did or said.
My spirituality allows me to feel and be present for all of my emotions. It also helps to shore up my mental health – a subject I was afraid to talk about back when I was going through my transformation as a young mom. At that point the internet wasn’t far enough along to provide many resources, so I was left browsing the self-help aisle at Barnes & Noble while I suffered through long bouts of feeling blue. I remember feeling as though I was engulfed in a gray cloud that distorted and tinted everything in my life with its haze.
It wasn’t until I got deep into my personal growth journey that I began to develop the tools necessary to pull myself out of that kind of funk. Now those periods feel like a distant memory and most of my days are filled with joy and gratitude. Any bouts of sadness or malaise are remedied by a list of activities I know will get me out of a funk – going for a walk, journaling, sitting in nature, and my failsafe solution – the solo dance party!
Thankfully, we have come a long way with destigmatizing the conversation around mental health and I’m happy to be able to comfortably address the subject today. I love that I am now able to share some of what I’ve learned to help others smooth out the bumpy spots on their journey.
It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.
If you find yourself struggling, here are a few tried and true ways to regain your mental health footing:
Regardless of how old you are, there are always things you can do to take your health care up another notch. You could:
Seek Support: Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Find a therapist, confide in a trusted friend, connect with a local church group, or make an appointment to see a mental health professional. The days of doing it all yourself are over.
Prioritize Self-Care: Although this word may be overused, it’s critical to creating a life you love. Taking time to do things that bring you joy, nurture your soul, and increase your longevity will make a huge difference in your overall life satisfaction.
Get Curious: Pick something of interest to explore – whether it’s learning about something health-related, taking an art class, investigating a new spiritual practice, or signing up to volunteer for a cause you care about, getting curious helps you push your edge and get out of your comfort zone. Plus, it’s exciting to try new things!
Come up with your own Self-Care menu: make a list of the things that ground you, bring you joy, or energize you so you can reach for it when you find yourself in a funk. When you find yourself feeling out of sorts, pick an item or two from your list and get on your way to feeling like yourself again!
Your spiritual practices and mental health are critical to living a life you love. Make sure you take the time you need to ensure that you are intentionally incorporating them into your life.
After all, that’s what living with intention is all about.
Living BRIGHTer is...
B - Be Brave
R - Cultivate Relationships
I - Live with Intention
G - Practice Gratitude
H - Prioritize Health
T - Live your Truth
What is Magenta?
The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
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