In 2022, I learned a lot of life lessons. I grew in indescribable ways. Unsurprisingly, I also struggled during that process, because growing pains often accompany the process of expanding into new and uncomfortable ways of being. The truth is, practicing emotional hygiene isn’t always easy.
On the upside, extremely I’m grateful for who I am today, as we start off 2023.
Over the past 12 months, I got crystal clear on the seven lessons below.
1. Good and bad are labels. All things are experiences.
We get told all the time that this experience is “good” and that one is “bad”. Or that this way of being is “right” and that one is “wrong”. The truth?
All things are experiences, nothing more, nothing less.
Breathe in that truth in and join me in not labeling your life in 2023.
2. Maturity is taking full responsibility for oneself.
I am grateful to share that I had a mentor who taught me that all of the world is experienced through my own mind and body and that I never actually experience another person’s thoughts, feelings, or reactions.
I can’t experience them, because it is my mind—including my pineal gland, my hypothalamus, and my adrenals—that regulate every emotion that I feel. It is also my body that receives the messages from these glands, creating the sensations that I label as “emotions”.
When I learned this, I realized that I was free to do anything, to be anything, and to create anything.
To me, maturity as an adult means taking full responsibility for myself. This includes my emotions, my behavior, and my health.
It also means that I can shift them in any way that I want, at any time. To me, that is emotional hygiene at its best.
3. Having a loving, conscious relationship with myself is a core value.
Ultimately, how I feel comes down to how to treat myself. Why? Because the only thing that is with me 24 hours a day is my mind and my body.
The life force that is “me” is what is meant to operate my life in a loving, conscious way. That life force is who can have a healthy relationship with my mind and body, of course.
Having a healthy relationship with my mind means having healthy inner boundaries around what I will tolerate from it. For example, I will tolerate—and even encourage—creativity from the mind. I won’t tolerate fear mongering from it.
Embrace inner boundaries. Like outer boundaries, they are the path to peace and empowerment.
4. Emotions do not mean that anything has to be done.
While outer musculature is for movement, inner musculature is for staying still.
Emotions are not a sign that anything has to be done.
I feel emotions, because I have a body and bodies are made to feel.
5. When I am in congruence with what I want, I have it.
Over time, I noticed that when I have inner conflict, I struggle to create what I want in my life. In contrast, when I have total congruence, I quickly create it.
This means that when I lack something that I want, I have to investigate where I have an inner conflict and do the work to shift it.
Emotional hygiene is about noticing and attending to inner health.
6. I have permission from myself to stop doing anything that doesn’t lead to peace and empowerment.
Stopping actions, behaviors, and past ways of being isn’t something that we’re readily taught.
Regardless, I know my top priorities are peace and empowerment, so I choose to act in alignment with these goals, regardless of how others perceive my decisions.
7. Stepping toward emotions and being able to feel them is a superpower. It determines the quality of your life.
When we’re little, most of us get taught that emotions are scary. We’re taught to hide them. We’re taught to fix them. Often, we’re taught to suppress them.
I was taught all of those messages, in abundance.
But, the reality is that being able to feel emotions means that I can do an infinite number of things that others will be too scared to do.
The end result? I get to live a life that others can only imagine. Of course, if you aren’t already, you can too.