21 gifts I gave myself

What’s up party people!!! So last week I was fortunate enough to ring in my 21st birthday with great appreciation and gratitude for life. I can honestly say that I’m at a point in my life that I can excitedly celebrate life with so much joy and anticipation for the future. The realization that life is a gift and that I have been kept safe and loved for another year, is a blessing all on its own. From my 20th birthday until now, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with a few old friends and experienced the joy of meeting new wonderful people. But the fun doesn’t stop there; I discovered more about myself, decluttered over a third of my closet, stopped spending hundreds of dollars on clothes, stopped eating meat, stopped eating crap, started to take time for myself, learned to meditate, learned to pray and all around evolved into something unable to be recognized. I like to think of these “mini-evolutions” as gifts I have given to myself. All of these gifts are useful in their own ways and are all available at my disposal.

By not spending an insane amount of money on clothes I benefit by saving money, by contributing less money to non-ethically sourced brands and essentially better the environment. By not eating meat, I have relieved myself from awful awful digestive problems, I feel less bleh about where my food comes from and of course, the environment. When I say that I have given myself little gifts, I don't want to take all the credit without thanking grace. Grace makes things that appear very very difficult, not so difficult. It's that simple. Grace makes it that when people ask you how do you easily accomplish whatever it is that you do, you reply that it comes oh so naturally to you. Grace is the act of opening up and letting things freely come and go. It’s essentially the act of surrendering and accepting what is.

I wanted to touch a little on grace before going back to our main topic, because grace makes it that we can accept and give (ourselves as well as others) gifts freely. If it's ordering new books, signing up for a yoga class on campus, moving up from a tall to a grande Matcha Latte or grabbing a bar of dark chocolate at the checkout after much contemplation; We need to first understand that we deserve gifts and receive them without guilt looking over our shoulders telling us all the reasons we don't deserve what we truly want. Let ease (also known as grace) silence the negative thoughts concerning yourself, your abilities, your personality, your past, your weight or whatever excuse that prevents you from receiving treats, recognition or compliments. Compliments are in their own ways gifts, analyze how you receive compliments from others. Are you able to give compliments? Do you often downplay your talents, efforts or the outfit you spent hours putting together? Realize what you consciously or subconsciously restrict yourself from having, doing, buying, tasting, accepting and allow yourself to fully experience that gift. When planning out your gifts know that the gifts you intend to give yourself are meant to aid your growth, make you happy and overall help you evolve in some way, shape or form. The following list is the list I had made for myself. It encompasses items that I've been putting off and others that I should already be doing. Take what you need and leave what you don’t…

  1. Journal about anything and everything

  2. Plant veggies in the backyard (my dad ended up taking the lead on this one as I talked his ear off and under watered the plants)

  3. Meditate for 20 minutes

  4. Paint a picture with my brothers

  5. Drink 3L of water

  6. Read a book and finish my current audiobook

  7. Complete a 31 day yoga challenge

  8. Declutter my physical space

  9. Don't use electronics all day

  10. Take a vow of silence for an hour

  11. Declutter my computer (photos, emails, iCloud)

  12. Forgive myself and others (and if you allow it: get a good cry)

  13. Go to the gym and take advantage of the sauna

  14. Make a list of your accomplishments

  15. Acknowledge/make letters to your bad habits

  16. Deal with everything that needs to be dealt with (this is all the items that I save for later that eventually pile up)

  17. Count your blessings by making a gratitude list

  18. Bike someplace new to catch the sunset

  19. Map out your short or long term goals (take this time to research fields that you're interested in, people that are succeeding in what you want to do. Also apply and look for nearby opportunities that spark your interests)

  20. Have a pamper day: paint your nails, put on a face mask, play your fave playlist and take a well deserved bath

  21. Get something new- ended up getting an orchid which makes me a happy momma of 3 plants!

My list isn't anything inviting for daredevils, but are things that I truly enjoy but never make the time to accomplish. I have unwrapped almost all of these gifts and feel proud of myself for allowing myself to do these things. I don’t feel guilty or as if I’m wasting my time in indulging in what makes me a happier human. I invite everyone to honour your own lives by giving yourself the things you truly need because know one else knows that better then you. Present yourself with challenges and opportunities that allow you to not only evolve but to slowly but surely, gracefully blossom.

Cheers,

Bonus:

Affirmations

I deserve every good thing that life has to offer

I am grateful for my life and the lives of others

I am proud of my growth

I am constantly growing and changing for the better

I am confident enough to receive as well as give compliments

I treat myself with love and respect

I am not nervous about the future

I invite grace/ease in my life

I understand my needs and take care of myself accordingly

I always have time for the people and the things that make me happy