ucti ve T hing You D o Jasmine Nehilla Staff Writer
pring is here in full bloom. And with transition seasons like fall and spring, the whole underlying message is change. The time changes, the weather changes, your wardrobe changes— you know, "April showers bring May flowers." In my house, spring cleaning is an all-inclusive Fabuloso, Swiffer, black Hefty bag extravaganza. I love creating in a fresh clean space. Spring cleaning shouldn't just be a physical activity that involves scrubbing each and every crevice of your home. While everything is changing all around you and decluttering is at a Pinterest board pinnacle, go with the flow of Mother Nature and make some habitual changes for yourself. Decluttering your space is just the inception. Have you wanted to make positive changes in your life but couldn't muster up the motivation? You're definitely not alone. If you're grieving, unhappy or stressed, I'm sure you've wallowed in the funk of self-destructive behavior—I have.
I'm actually just now sloughing off my cloak of diffidence. This year, and what seems like every year before it, has been difficult. But, life is fickle. It can be jubilantly bountiful or gut wrenchingly arduous in the matter of a millisecond. My easy breezy part-time job became a wicked and toxic environment—so unhealthy that my twentyfive-year-old manager had a stroke, temporarily lost dexterity in her right hand and leg, and they laid her off a month later. My aunt passed away leaving behind one pregnant daughter and a recently widowed daughter. And while I hadn't seen this side of my family in long time, burying my auntie was like burying my childhood. Upon my return, I too was laid off and about a week later my grandfather was in the hospital. Honestly, for the remainder of February and the beginning of March it was a struggle to keep focus. I had been working really hard on some projects and I just couldn't anymore. I did, however, have enough energy to be hard on myself about being distracted. For-
get the fact that I'm human or that I was terrified, grief-stricken, exhausted—in my kamikaze impractical world of Stepford wife perfection, I was failing. "This could be the day that you stop that destructive thing you do." Quit standing in front of the mirror and picking yourself apart. Quit shaming yourself for not being whatever your mind has visualized you to be. As soon as you notice yourself groaning in disappointment and saying, "I used to talk to my sister every day." "My butt used to be rounder; my stomach was flatter." "I would love to eat healthy but..." Make a change right then and there. Pick up the phone and call your sister. My Uncle told my husband and I, "all it takes is 20 seconds to check in with your family." Right there in the bathroom, wall sit for 60 seconds or bust out 25 good healthy squats. WHO CARES if someone walks in on you, you're looking out for you, you're taking care of you. Just do it—You're making you feel better.
Image of Jasmine by Heather Lashun Facebook.com/pages/Heather-LaShun-Photography/257952385411
make a change right then and there
Understand this: changing a behavior isn't a nose-wiggling, snap-of-the-fingers type of thing. It is an extensive process that only occurs when you're open to changing. No one can force you into wanting to change. Zenhabits.com describes it as "a greased slope — right now, the slope is greased toward your self-destructive behavior, so even if you fight against it, you’re likely to keep doing the behavior." The sleazy incline is adjustable though, and as you struggle to move away from the self-destruction it's inevitable you'll slip, more than once. Learn from those stumbles! The experiences will teach you what you need and how to modify your environment to be successful in your next attempt to climb the slope. Great things never came from comfortable places. Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck in a dark place. It is not where you belong.
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