Knock Knock....Who's There? It's me...2016!

To discover what you really think and feel; to find inner peace and not let the world around you make you feel anxious or stressed; to actually question your dreams and passions, or what you excel at ... I’d love to share with you my own secret awesome sauce, tested during my year hiatus. No need to travel to India or join a monastery. 

For today's millenials, that might consist of the deletion of your most used social app. There is no app that will bring you inner peace, self awareness, self forgiveness, and life gratitude. This can only be achieved by performing a social media detox….imagine that, it’s an actual thing these days. No cayenne pepper, lemons, nor maple syrup required.

To understand people, the world, and become more compassionate in life, you must first completely get in tune with yourself, here’s how:

1. Actual Human interaction: Put down that phone, unless you’re actually calling someone.  Remember that technique?. Start talking to people again -- even strangers.

2. Read: Load up audible with a ton of books that cater to your profession and personal pursuit (for inspiration). I suggest audible because sitting down to actually read a book is a luxury not many of us have.

My faves : How to Win Friends and Influence People, Please understand me II, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 18 Min, Start with the Why, The Lean Startup.

3. Move: Start moving that body again. Get your endorphins going. Dust of that activity tracker. Walk in the Sun.

4. Relax: Find a sacred place in your home that is just for you to meditate, pray, study, read. Anything that helps bring your racing mind to ease. NO TV!

5. Have Goals: Make a list with an actual pencil, and write down your short and long term goals. Read them out loud, visualize success and completion. Stop living with regrets. Start by making short term goals that will start moving those action items forward. Now look at a calendar, give yourself some deadlines. Best thing about this, if you don’t reach your deadlines, learn to forgive yourself and pick up where you left off.

6. Stay organized: Make several to-do’s list so that you aren’t stressed about the list not progressing to deletion. There should always be an “immediate 2-do”, a “yearly to-do”, and a “if absolutely bored to-do” list.

This also helps at work. Set up your own work strategy so you can be as efficient as possible while at the office. Thus allowing more time for family and friends. There are some amazing books on audible about work efficiency. You don’t want to be on your deathbed and wish you’d lived more and worked less right?

7. Chew: Stop stressing about diets. Learn to love real food again, cook more. Don’t use food to fuel voids in your life. Drink water, chug it if necessary. 

8. Be Grateful: Take one minute of your day to completely engage in the present and be grateful for being healthy and alive.

9. Rituals: Don’t skip your nightly ritual, don’t have one? Start one. Clean your face, Brush teeth, FLOSS etc etc. This sets up your entire night for a restful sleep. Be under those covers by 10:30pm.

10. Forgive: Learn to shake off all the unnecessary baggage. Forgive yourself, you are only human, with flaws. No one is perfect not even Gwyneth Paltrow. Stop the train of thought that if you had this, or did that, that you’ll wait until this happens etc etc. Stop it now. Take a deep breath, forgive your flaws and move forward.

I guess this is my life manifesto. A comprehensive gathering of my life strategies uncovered after a year of social media absence. I barely watched the news in 2015 and seldom (compared to my past usual) posted pictures on Instagram.

I had the most amazing, peaceful, stress free year. Granted I cut my working hours and spent more time at home raising Rebecca. But as I came to realize, stay at home moms have their own issues while raising active toddlers. I have an entire new respect and appreciation for all those Ladies. I plan on going back to full time employment soon, but grateful that I had the chance to take a step back and gather my thoughts while developing my own life coping strategies.

Happy 2016!