Over the summer I read a book that nearly changed my life. Okay, maybe I’m being a little bit dramatic, but not too far off. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Go pick up a copy. Like now.
Here, I’ve even linked it on Amazon. That’s how much I want you to read it.
I could write a blog over every chapter of this book and how I interpreted it (because I’ve read it three times), but one topic that has meant the most to me because I’ve seen the positive effects of practicing it, is the idea of gratitude + manifesting positive things into your life.
I graduated in May and I can’t lie… it was a rough semester. With an even rougher start to my summer. My long-term relationship ended because of secrets and infidelity, both out of my control. I moved out of my apartment and home of two years to move back in with my family in my home town. I accepted a job that turned out to be completely different from the position I thought I was taking. My precious little car that I loved so much was stolen out of my driveway by YOUTHS. All within the same time frame.
I’m a strong-willed woman. I don’t consider myself to be meek or fragile and I’m no stranger to reality – aka the totally imperfect and f’d up world that we live in. BUT, that being said… it was still a pretty friggin’ hard couple of months!
Everything I knew and the life I had created for myself was disappearing out from under me. I was comfortable in my other life, with my old boyfriend and his family, at UCO with my classmates and supportive professors, as a teller at the bank with my co-workers and all of my regular clients (who liked to bring me donuts). I mean, I knew life was going to change. I could feel it my bones. I just didn’t expect everything to happen so rapidly, and all at once.
I started to lose sight of anything positive in my life. And in return, was receiving nothing positive. Have you heard about Karma? The whole, “what you put out into the world is what you’ll receive” type of thing? Well, that’s kind of the case here.
If you are a giant ball of negativity, radiating (for lack of a better term) ‘bad vibes’, and constantly pitying yourself, how do you expect the universe to give you back anything positive? It’s like wearing a robe covered in poop and expecting everyone to embrace you. It’s not gonna happen.
I was so wrapped up in the disappointment of my current state in life. I faked it, I still went out with my friends. I’ll be the first one to admit that I tried to be happy and positive while still holding onto all of these negative feelings inside. I was mad. I thought life after college was going to be fun? I thought things would immediately get easier. I thought I had accepted a cool job at a cool company. I had all of these ideals that weren’t happening. How could they when I was walking around wearing a poop robe?
So I stumbled onto this book. I’m not typically one for self-helpy reads, but I was like DAMN. This book has killer reviews… and I kind of want to know how to hone in on my inner badass because she’s MIA right now. *download to Kindle app*
In one of the first chapters of the book, titled “Present as a Pigeon” I read the following:
“All of the stuff we’re so worried about creating and fixated on becoming is already right here, right now. The money you want already exists; the person you want to meet is already alive; the experiences you want to have are available, now; the idea for that brilliant song you want to write is here, now, waiting for you to download the information. The knowledge and insight and joy and connection and love are all wagging their hands in your face, trying to get your attention. The life you want is right here, right now.”
Oh? I guess… if I really think about it, everything I could want probably does already exist. And then I read this:
“When you are consistently in a state of gratitude, and aware of all of the awesomeness that already exists, it, among many other things, makes it much easier for you to believe that there’s more awesomeness where that came from, and that this yet-to-be-manifested awesomeness is also available to you. You’ve received awesomeness before so of course, you can receive awesomeness again. This is how gratitude strengthens your faith. And having strong faith is a major key in transforming your life.”
Everything I just shared with you is completely opposite of my mindset at the time, and of my outlook on life in general. Reading this really put it into perspective for me. It forced me to look at the ugly parts of my life that I had been ignoring or too scared to deal with. It made me realize that I didn’t have to let all of my negative thoughts fester into my daily life. The world is so much bigger than me AND my bullshit.
Yeah, I was dealing with some tough stuff. But not tough enough to be life-controlling. Where was any gratitude in my life? Was I only manifesting more negativity? Was I getting lost in my own BS? Yes.
I decided it was time to take some active movements towards creating a better reality and mental space for myself. One that acknowledged the positives in my life, one that practiced gratitude, and one that faced the negatives instead of just “dealing with it.” I decided that the first step I would take, would be to give up the idea that I had to stay in my unfulfilling job.
I started going to work with a better attitude, because I decided that the job I wanted was out there, and if I thought about it enough it would happen when it was supposed to. I loosely updated my resume and started scouting. Not really in a rush, just accepting that it would be there when I was ready. I felt lighter when I let go of the black cloud following me around every time I pulled into the parking garage. It was a little bit easier to let the hurtful words and negativity I heard at work roll off.
Not even a week later, I got a text from a friend. It was a screenshot of her computer screen asking if I was interested in this job she heard about. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but decided I should go for it. What was the worst that could happen? I was already in a job that I didn’t enjoy. Long story short, I set up an interview, my to-be boss bought me box of gluten-free pancake mix at Whole Foods, and shortly after I was offered the job.
This was my first experience manifesting something into reality that I really wanted. Maybe that’s why it’s so special to me. I didn’t know that by practicing gratitude, letting go of negativity, and keeping sight of what I wanted could actually work itself into something real.
IT CAN and IT WILL.
Maybe not always as timely as this particular instance but… You’ve just got to commit to doing it. The reason I wanted to write about this is because I want to be better about doing it in my every day life. I’ve been struggling with a few things personally and I think it’s time to actively work to change them. I also wanted to share this book with anyone out there who may be looking to make changes in their life – whether that be a job move, accepting your own truth, getting over your BS, or maybe you’re just seeking some guidance on how to live a more fulfilling life.
I’m not perfect and I still fall victim to negative thoughts and the occasional pity party, but I know that I’ve got A LOT of good going on that shouldn’t be overshadowed.
Read the book. Share your thoughts. Find the positive.