We all have sparkle within, and just like other aspects of our wellness, our sparkle has a natural ebb and flow. Some days, I feel like my sparkle is brighter than ever, that I have more magic running through my veins than I ever could have dreamed, and that I am on the exact right path leading me to more joy, vitality, and expansion. Other days, I feel like I am totally lost, losing precious time to fulfill my dreams, and doubting every single facet of my sparkle. All of these feelings are natural and normal. The human experience is a messy, beautiful, winding path and includes countless ups and downs. It is only when we experience the full spectrum of this life that we can appreciate it the most.
Now, you might be thinking, that is all fine and well, but it still feels pretty awful to feel bad. I totally agree. Recently, I experienced a handful of days where I felt less than my sparkliest. I found myself sidelined by gloom, homesickness, doubt, loneliness, and fear. When these feelings started to seep into my days, I didn’t even realize that I was allowing this shadow to take up space in my soul. I began wondering where my energy had gone and was pondering why I felt so much more sensitive than usual. Before I knew it, I found myself in the midst of a few tear-filled days spent doubting my sparkle.
Without realizing, I had allowed my energy to get stagnant, which translated to negative feelings and emotions building up in me without an outlet. When we get stuck in the patterns, it can be difficult to recognize, which is why setting time aside for a personal check-in each day is so important. Activities like meditation and journaling can make a huge impact to shorten the timeline of feeling less than our best.
When I realized I was carrying stagnant energy, I shifted gears from being on autopilot (following the same patterns each day) into experiment mode, which is where I am today. My goal is to remove as much self-judgment as possible and observe the following:
- What time have I been waking up?
- What time have I been going to sleep?
- Has my sleep felt restorative?
- What does my meditation schedule look like?
- How much time am I spending watching television?
- What have I been eating?
- Have I been getting enough healthy fat, protein, and a diverse array of plants into my body?
- When was the last time I was physically active?
- When did I last spend time outside?
- How would it feel to schedule a day free of work and social media completely?
- When did I last read for fun?
- When was the last time I listened mindfully to my partner?
- Have I been craving any foods, beverages, habits that I historically have used for coping or numbing?
- When was the last time I connected with friends in real life, face to face?
- Have I felt appreciated by my loved ones lately?
- Have I been comparing myself to others (especially when on social media!)?
- Am I neglecting my morning practice?
- At the end of a workday, do I feel centered in my purpose?
- How have my yoga stretching sessions been feeling?
- When was the last time I spent time playing (without expectation of any outcome)?
- Have I been telling myself any stories about my worthiness or capabilities?
I could go on and on, but this list is a good jumping off point on indicators of specific areas of life that could use a fresh flush of energy. Depending on my answer to the questions above, I might consider adjusting what I have been currently doing for a few days to see how the change makes me feel. It can be easy to assume that what has worked in the past to lift my doubts and negative feelings will also work in the present, but it is important to be aware that it is not always that simple. Keeping in mind that this is an experiment helps me to put less pressure on myself. By continuing the experiment and making changes and shifts in my schedule, habits, and mindset, I can begin to gather data. This experiment then provides me with data on what feels good, in turn helping me to put together a plan to thrive and sparkle.
We all have moments of doubt in life. Please know that this is a normal part of the human experience. You are not alone in these feelings. This week, I challenge you to consider allowing yourself to experiment with practices that support your thriving sparkle. When we allow ourselves to view life as an experiment, we release pressure and stagnant energy. When we experiment with practices to untap our sparkle, we allow ourselves more grace and freedom to explore. As humans, our nature is to shift, change, and evolve. When we do so without expectations, we sparkle more than ever.