You know you are supposed to surround yourself with people who lift you up. Sometimes you need to surround yourself with books that lift you up. Here is a brief list of my top picks!
Ancient Rhythms Variety
Classical Living a perfect companion for living by the seasons. Based in Roman tradition and mythology there are celebrations for most days of the year. These little celebrations are ideal to break up monotony and banish ruts. Broken down into months this book has been a fun go to for years.
Non Devotion but Small Daily Reading
Adults of Emotionally Immature Parents This topic may be difficult but I add this to the list because it isn’t a “sit down and read all at once” kind of book. Just a bit of reading each day, skimming even, can help you feel validated in your struggles. Realizations were quite common for me in reading this book and I found it helpful. One of those “you didn’t imagine this” kind of things. Like I said, validating.
Oldie but Goodie
Believing In Myself by Earnie Larsen. This is of the self esteem genre and it is simple, quick and often incredibly relevant. I have had this book for over fifteen years! This mini book has graced my bookshelf for over fifteen years, longer than any other book on the list. Scoff if you must but healing after an abusive ex is Top Priority. This little gem offers a variety of insights for boosting confidence and self assuredness.
The Loving Christian Variety
Jesus Calling Morning + Night by Sara Young My absolute favorite of the Christian variety, I have loved this book for almost three years now. There are several in the series but I love that this particular book offers a devotion for morning and night. <
Badass Affirmations- Wit + Wisdom of Wild Women
I love this one! It is so much fun and such a great gift idea. Any lady or lover of ladies can appreciate!
This is exactly the kind of thing that would have caused Old Me to roll my eyes. Glow Up. However after a deep dive into the realm of amnesia, memory loss and brain injury, I now see things a bit differently. This story will unveil the answers to questions such as
Really? YES, REALLY! It is more than a trending cliché expression.
What is it? In short; a substantial life change that results in incredible personal or professional growth. Once you love and honor yourself, others can see it. You feel better and that means you look better too. It is hard to look fly when you feel fried. It can be hard to see your potential when your past may be cloaked with trauma and anguish.
TO GLOW UP IS TO MOVE BEYOND. IT REQUIRES DEDICATION AND SELF DEVOTION.
Maybe you had a wonderful childhood, perfect adolescence, flawless adulthood. If so, this is not for you. If you have been abused by anyone ever, friend, family or even a boss, (more on that specifically) it can really leave a damper on how you view yourself, talk to yourself, and how you perceive yourself. This is an inaccurate view that is unhealthy to indulge. It can harm your personal relationships, your professional opportunities and so much more. It can impact your self esteem and even cause your body to develop autoimmune diseases.
Trauma and stress lead to disease; plain and simple. Untreated psychological and emotional pain will not go unnoticed in the body. Don’t be afraid to expect more from you or your existence. Self improvement is never a regret.
How do you just turn a brand new, self loving leaf? This is where it gets interesting. It looks different for everyone. Here are a few options for you to utilize.
Growth-focused devotions. I have long been a lover of devotion books of all kinds. They pick me up and offer clarity at my lowest and most confused times. I have always used them so that is always my personal first stop on the train to Glow Up Town. If you do not get down that way then look for quotes about boundaries, self esteem or confidence. Save your favorites for a handy go to.
Love yourself with time. This is perfect because it is basically free. This time you devote to yourself can be for your forgotten hobby, learning something new, pampering yourself with a bath or home spa treatment, meditation, stretching or even a NAP. Yes, a nap absolutely counts if that is what you need. We are too driven by lists and societal pressures. Also please do not feel pressure to become perfect overnight. Another aspect of time equaling self love is the knowledge that glowing up takes time.
Own your time and guard it carefully. The very powerful practice of not giving your time away to those or the things that don’t deserve it. Your thoughts also fall under this category. Stressing the hours away is a form of repetitive thoughts is also putting energy where it doesn’t belong. I call these hamster wheel thoughts. These can be very loud if you are worried about money, your job, your family. Try taking this time to manifest the solution. Manifesting is a better use of time than worrying. Worrying rarely produces a solution.
Work out + align your values. This really helps when assessing and establishing boundaries. Keep a firm grip of what you value most and if something doesn’t align, then PLEASE toss it the hell out. Having a deep understanding of what really matters to you helps keep you on your ideal path. Some call this the path to your higher self but let’s just say your ideal path.
A note about self devotion- This is not super common expression therefore let me elaborate. Self devotion is an absolute commitment to honoring yourself to the best of your abilities. It is deeper than self love. You are devoted to honoring yourself. This seems to be skipped over in conversations of massive self reflection and transformation. I don’t think you can glow up, transform or heal without a certain degree of self devotion. Contemplate what those words mean to you. If you are comfortable I would love for you to share in the comments!
Now is time for the story…
I underwent a four hour dental procedure in November of 2020. I was unable to form new memories well past March of 2021. I had 1 memory for January and 1 memory for February. Other than that I have no real idea what was going on. My photographs from that time do not jog because there is no memory. I forgot people, experiences, motivations. In March I though it was over and I was “done” with amnesia. I really don’t have any memories for several more months. I remember July 2021 and after. This obviously caused problems with my businesses but most importantly, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I liked or what I valued. I had ideas of my values but nothing struck a chord. Nothing made me feel passion or joy. I was a shell.
COVID helped a lot of people realize what was important and who were the real friends. Amnesia was what showed me. People did not listen or care when I shared what I was going through. I decided if you couldn’t be there for me when I was going through something so bad as all out memory loss then I had no place for you in my future. That was when I really began to glow. Seriously. I had so many toxic and pointless relationships in my life that it was easy to let go of dismissive people. It was a literal pleasure. I did not cry over these people either. The new Grace was very “their loss” and moved on. This was a brand new occurrence for me. I had spent years of my life sacrificing myself to people who could care less. Was it my Southern hospitality upbringing or was I just so used to abuse? Either way, I washed my hands of expectations and pressures. I could write an entire book and how to reclaim yourself from assholes. After all, I have a lifetime of experience. I previously had no clue that I was living my life that way; not at all looking after number one. So I decided to undergo a last name change as many people do who have experienced a certain kind of trauma. I got a dash of my dream wardrobe that I may have always wanted. Who knows. I knew I had never worn ruffles a day in my life but suddenly I was down. Ruffles, bows, pink and lace. A total 180 from the business blazers and oxford loafers I had been sporting for years.
If you are still reading this, good for you! Let me share that your glow up may look completely different than you anticipated. Be sure to roll with it and not put yourself in the box of “who you were before”.
I knew people may be curious about why I changed or maybe they didn’t even notice…. either way ya know what I say? Who cares?
This next part may be seemingly insignificant but I promise, it isn’t. My instagram. In fact all my social media handles don’t feel right anymore. My personal instagram is filled with photos I don’t remember. I feel like it isn’t me and I just want to erase it. Delete it. Move on. I know this is an extreme thought for such an important and long term social account. I decided to just bleh it. I opened a different page that more aligns with my journey. I needed a new page for my new self. That was actually scary for me. I have waivered with commitment but I have decided to proceed. I like to take lots of time to contemplate and envision possibilities. I say with 100% conviction that I am ready to share my journey. If you want the up to date and current view of my existence then @glowupwithgracie is your destination.