All throughout my summer travels I had one line on repeat in the back of my mind – it was Roxanne Saffaie’s statement, “I’m in love with life.” It was that one sentence that had me eager to return from my travels and start working to climb my way out of this dark place I had been living in for the past year.

First things first, I decided to get in touch with Roxanne. We did meet briefly during my summer travels, but it wasn’t the time or place to share everything I had wanted to say about how her words had affected me. Instead, I sent her a message — what I hadn’t expected was the incredibly thoughtful, detailed response to what I had shared with her.

I was overwhelmed – in a good way. Her messages had such a powerful impact on me. Everything she had to say not only resonated with me but also embodied the exact vibe and mindset that I knew I wanted to achieve. The main takeaway/task for me was this: set a vision of your life for yourself. 

Excellent. A task. I can do this. I closed down my messages and thought to myself – vision, I can create a vision. I’ll think about it tonight and wake up tomorrow with a clear vision. I’ll be driven and motivated and it will change everything immediately.

The next morning arrived (Aug. 1st), and that vision I was hoping for wasn’t there.

But it’s the first of the month — I’ve got to start off the month with a vision, right? How will I work towards what I want when I can’t set this vision? 

Like anything worthwhile, it takes time and effort.

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I came to realize that a vision doesn’t just suddenly appear, especially not if you want to make it meaningful.

So after realizing and accepting that this wasn’t something that happened overnight, I completely slowed things down in my life. I wanted to free up space in my mind, my life, and even my surroundings to just … exist.

While I wanted to work deliberately towards setting a vision and creating goals for myself, I also wanted it to happen organically.

I had spent so much of the past year forcing myself to do things – get up, go out, workout, write – that I didn’t want to force myself to do those things anymore.

I think the best thing I have done is give myself the space to grieve. It’s actually the first time ever that I have been so compassionate with myself. I came to realize and accept that the hole in my heart that has been created by this loss is one that is meant to stay. My goal is to find a way to live with that hole. That hole in my heart is important to me. It’s where my brother resides and it is not meant to be filled or covered or forgotten. The pain I feel when I think about him is important to me. To me, it is the purest form of love. I don’t want to erase that. It was taking the time to figure out and accept these things that allowed me to move forward.

When I started off on this task of setting a vision, I kept imagining the final impression to be some large scale picture of specific things I wanted to accomplish. However, once I scaled things back and really simplified my life, my choices, and my actions, my vision narrowed down to only that moment. The goal was to live in that moment fully, authentically, and mindfully.

I think the word authentically was key for me here. I asked myself, who do I want to be? This basic (though not simple) question served as a foundation for how I started to approach everything else.  When I was in the middle doing something, I would ask myself, is this what I want to be doing? Is this what I want my life to look like? Do my current actions help me be the kind of person I want to be? Do they coincide with the vision I have of my lifeWhen I would find myself in a thought pattern that wasn’t healthy, productive, or even necessary, I would ask myself, how are these thoughts helping me right now? Are they important? Are they necessary? Are these the thoughts (and accompanying emotions) that I want to give time and energy to?

These self-reflective questions have been incredibly powerful. What’s been an amazing change for me, however, was the tone with which I was asking myself these questions. No longer was I chiding myself about my choices – I was urging myself to be mindful of what I was doing … because time precious. I don’t want to spend it doing things that I am not passionate about or that are not worthwhile.

This is not to say I don’t have more tangible goals. I do. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish, but the key to actually achieving those goals was not just to look at them as things that needed to get done. They were things that I wanted to get done, and when I would be working on those goals, I would be solely focused on what I was doing. Every word I would write would be done so with sincerity. Every rep at the gym I did would be done so with complete effort. Every interaction I had would be genuine and one that added positivity to my life.

The process of setting a vision has been a really interesting one. I’ve approached the task from a new perspective and it is one that I have found to be very rewarding. I like focusing on just the moment as it gives me a chance to find joy in what I’m doing … and that, I believe, is one step closer to falling in love with life.

while it is not always easy for me to smile, I know that I am doing my best to work on it and that part of being authentic is not forcing myself to do anything – even smile – if I don’t want to; although I may not smile, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude and that is what fuels my vow to live fully in each moment

 

The first image for this post was taken from Blackbelt Beauty’s Instagram page; below is the accompanying caption: