10 signs you’re experiencing a quarter-life crisis

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10 signs you’re experiencing a quarter-life crisis:

I’ve been seeing so many Buzzfeed articles and memes about 25-35 year olds feeling behind, lost, hopeless, and confused about who they are and what they should be doing with their lives.

When will life start to feel like it’s “supposed to?!” I’ve wondered this myself.

When you graduated college, purchased a home, got serious with your partner, got that job, you believed this would finally make life feel like it was coming together. Until it didn’t. The relationship ended, you lost the job, you’re not satisfied.

“The quarterlife crisis is a period of life ranging from twenties to thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult. “
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Here are 10 signs you might be experiencing a (totally normal) quarter-life crisis:

  1. You feel like you’re supposed to be further along than you are- your career, your relationships, your self development, your finances.
  2. You desperately want to feel confident in yourself, whoever “yourself” really is.
  3. You’re re-evaluating your family’s belief and political systems and forming your own ideas
  4. You can’t decide whether you should go after your dreams or pursue the career you got your degree for
  5. You don’t know what your dreams even are
  6. Your friendships are starting to change and you feel a deep sense of loss
  7. You desire to “take care of yourself,” but can’t exactly afford massages, yoga, organic food, and fitness programs.
  8. You try to “do it all,” burn yourself out, and then netflix binge in an attempt to rest. (Only to feel guilty for being so unproductive.)
  9. You’re trying to better yourself and be a healthy adult, yet feel held back by your parent’s expectations.
  10. You still care a little too much about what people think about your life choices.
  11. BONUS: You’re reading a life coach’s blog because you just want some damn answers.
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If you found yourself laughing, nodding, and feeling totally heard, I want you to know you are 100% normal. You are discovering yourself, stripping away the things that no longer serve you, and owning your story. You are in the process of coming alive. Lean into it.

This is the time to lean into the discomfort!

Choose to heal old wounds, get to know yourself, make new friends, choose to break patterns and beliefs that no longer serve you! Leave the relationship, change the job, make wise choices, and keep growing.

You can’t do it wrong if you’re showing up. 


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Creating Life-Giving Ritual from the Everyday Mundane

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CREATING LIFE-GIVING RITUAL FROM THE EVERYDAY MUNDANE 


I’m trying to be more present.

Aren’t we all?

I know I’m not the only one picking up my phone at stoplights, podcasting in the shower, and watching Netflix while I fold laundry. There seems to be fewer hours in the day to do all the things. The mentality of lack, fear and the need to be busy is keeping us from being comfortable in the moment.

“Be present” isn’t just for the moments we are with other people.

It’s not a reminder to put down the phone at the dinner table; it’s a reminder to show up, even in the mundane.

I have tried to control my need to do by turning off my phone, limiting my time on the computer and only listening to only one podcast a day, but regulating our actions only goes so far. The real change starts inside of us.

We need to heal our view of daily life.

The difference between a habit and a ritual:

Rituals and habits are similar, but have one distinct difference. A habit it mindless, and a ritual is mindful. The morning coffee and instagram scrolling, your weekday workout, a Thursday evening wine night, a tea before bed, they can all be habits or rituals, depending on your intention.

The difference between a habit and a ritual is your intent and your presence.

Habits (like checking your phone first thing in the morning) are done without thought or intention. They are the routine actions that have made their way into your life mindlessly. Rituals are mindful. Rituals bring your full presence into the moment you’re living in. Rituals are spiritual even if the act itself isn’t spiritual. As humans, being spiritual is a large part of our being, even if you’re an atheist!

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Being "Spiritual:"

My view of spirituality is that as humans, we all have a deep need to connect with something bigger. Whether that is God, an understanding that as humans we are in life together, or even the acknowledgement of love and an honor of life. Spirituality is a nod to the parts of us we don’t fully understand; it’s the awe of being alive and the miracle that is the universe.

From Buddhism to Christianity to Hindu and even tribal religions, ritual is a sacred part of humanity no matter what the belief. Universally they are practiced as a ceremony from meditation, to baptism, to offerings, even dance.  From practicing ritual in my own life, I have noticed a sense of peace and clarity.

Rituals ground us; they keep us sane in the busyness of life. Rituals ask for your full presence, so no matter if you are brushing your teeth or saying a prayer, your entire presence is in the moment.  

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It’s not about going through the motions or a checklist of “spiritual things” you must do, it’s about being present in the motions. Heck, I don’t think it’s really about what you’re doing at all, it matters how you’re being.

I’m not saying you can never multitask, listen to music, or talk on the phone while doing something else. What I am saying is that by bringing ritual and celebration into your daily life, you will experience more care, love, joy, and peace every day. Who doesn’t want that!?

View the mundane as sacred. Be still with yourself. Allow yourself to BE in the moment, not just the “special” moments.

Creating ritual:

I have been playing around with rituals and learning to create my own. Here are some rituals I’ve played with:

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-Morning ritual of coffee and the Come Alive Journaling Guide

-Reading a spiritual text daily in the same place

-Driving in silence

-Daily prayer 

-Doing weekly candlelight yoga

(Here's my favorite yoga channel!)

-Weekly hike with a bestie

-Folding laundry in silence

-Listening to a podcast and going on a walk

What can you bring more care and intention to in your day to day life?

Leave your ideas in the comments. Who knows, maybe I'll adopt your ritual and see how it goes!


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Lessons in 4 years of marriage

MARRIAGE LESSONS: YEAR 4

At our wedding we washed each other’s feet as a symbol of our devotion. We committed to love through good and bad, and committed to put each other first. This was a practice we adopted from Jesus, who washed his disciples feet, showing them he was willing to see and love the dirtiest parts of them, and sacrifice for them.  It was a beautiful symbol to us of marriage, and we felt strongly about the ritual… but we had no clue what the hell we were doing. 

So cute, so innocent, so clueless. Photo by Esther Ziegler

So cute, so innocent, so clueless. Photo by Esther Ziegler

THE WONKY RITUAL:

As we stood before 300 people, about to follow through with the foot washing, we realized that we forgotten the water. My brother in law quietly left the ceremony and brought water to us. As Phil started washing my feet, grass and dirt made the water a strange shade of brown. (We had been outside taking pictures in 107 degree heat.) It was disgusting and hilarious. By the end of the foot washing, we opted not to put our shoes back on because we hadn’t thought about how long it would take to complete the ritual, plus mine were filthy.

We were completely unprepared and caught off guard.

Our ritual of love and devotion was wonky, and it’s been the perfect symbol of growing into our marriage. We were in many ways unprepared for marriage. Our love tanks have been empty, our love tanks have been murky and toxic. We have been unconventional, and we have made it work.

WE GOT MARRIED YOUNG:

It was before my wellness journey began. Which means we have learned a lot about ourselves and being married since then. The past four years of life and marriage have been transformational.  Phil has been a witness to the growth, healing, and change in my life, as I have been in his. People always tell you marriage is hard; they tell you how selfish you’ll realize you are, that the passion ebbs and flows, that sex and finances will be the biggest strains, and that communication is key. I’ve learned about those things, but I’ve learned so much more.

The things I’ve learned which have helped me the most are not “marriage tools.” They are my own lessons in emotional, personal and relational wellness.

THE LESSONS:

My lessons are tools to become the most excellent person you can be, not just an excellent wife.

+ KNOW YOURSELF FIRST. THEN GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER

When I began on my journey to self awareness I had no clue how much this would impact my relationship. I learned how I “ticked,” I learned what made me happy, what triggered me, I learned areas where I needed healing, and I was better able to communicate my needs. Honestly, my self awareness was hard for my relationship at first because it caused a major shift in how our relationship functioned. We did not know healthy ways to understand ourselves or each other. But as I grew, I was able to communicate clearly, manage and own my own needs, and ultimately create a life-giving relationship of honesty, clarity, and fulfillment.

photo by Kinsey Mhire

photo by Kinsey Mhire

+ ALLOW OTHERS TO PROCESS LIFE IN THEIR OWN WAY

This one came from Phil. Through our journeys in counseling, healing, and personal development, we have come to seasons where one or the other was really hurting and processing. We have deconstructed our beliefs, grieved pains, and created new world-views together, yet we have done it with space and compassion. Everyone is processing  life through a different perspective and lens. Be present in the processing, but don’t try to understand everything. Give others space to process and come to peace in their own way.

Be a support, not a guide.

This requires trust, so much trust, and confidence in yourself and your relationship.

+ LEARN TO LISTEN

Like really listen. Dangit, this is a struggle for my mile and minute brain and mouth. I’m still practicing. Listen with the heart to understand. Be open to what they are saying and repeat back to them what you hear them saying. I like to call this “leaning in.” Lean in and be interested to people, make them feel like they matter more than anyone in the world. Trust me, listening is the greatest art. Learn more from the master of listening, Chris Lee.

+ LET GO OF CONTROL

Seems simple enough, yet, especially in our closest relationships we become emotionally entangled with the other person’s decisions. They reflect onto us. They affect us. If they make a mistake, it becomes personal or an attack. Learning that other people are completely separate from you, and they are responsible for their own actions is key. (The opposite of this is codependency).

There are so many things I've learned about marriage but those are the big ones from this year. Marriage tools are helpful, but I'm realizing becoming the best version of yourself will lead to your best relationships. 

TOOLS YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL:

The personality matrix: a podcast to help you understand yourself and others.

Know your love languages

My personal fav, The Boundaries Book

Robcast: A podcast about control in relationships.

Learn to listen by listening to this podcast.

8 TED talks that just might save your marriage.

 

**PHOTOS BY KINSEY MHIRE PHOTOGRAPHY


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Triggers, judgements, mirrors, and empathy: Navigating hard relationships with love

Triggers, judgements, mirrors, and empathy: Navigating hard relationships with love

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The other day a dear friend asked me, “What do when people you’re around just plain get under your skin?” Dang. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been there. I’m sure you can relate. Whether it’s your “annoying” co-worker, “attention seeking” sibling, “needy” parent, or someone just spewing negativity, it’s tricky to respond in love…especially when you’re a human who gets triggered like me.

As I thought of my friend’s question, I realized how much I’ve grown in this area. I used to be highly irritated, always annoyed by others, and overly concerned with their behavior. It was hard for me to love people where they were; I always wanted people to change, and I was constantly judging their motives. Until the moment I was asked that question, I had never explained my growth in this area to anyone. My answer was simple: begin with you.

1. You’re human, but you can choose love.

Here’s the thing- you’re human, you’re going to be annoyed from time to time, the key is not to stay there and ruminate over the other person. Always, always bring it back to you. You’re going to be triggered and stretched in order to become the most loving version of yourself. Instead of seeing it as a wrong on them, or judging them for it, just ask yourself how you are being stretched to love better.  

2. Empathy is the cure for judgement.

Learning to feel real compassion and empathy for others will cure judgement. Empathy chooses to see the other person as human. “Empathy is perspective taking, staying out of judgement, recognizing emotion in other people, and communicating. It’s feeling with people.” Brene Brown

When you recognize that other people’s actions are less about you and more about their own pains, wounds, and insecurities, you will begin to see their humanity. Although your judgements may pop up, and you may be triggered, you have a newfound understanding that they are not much different from yourself. 

I love this video by Brene Brown explaining empathy: 

3. Notice the behavior, not the character flaw

Having understanding and empathy for them will help you see their actions separate from their character. They may act annoying to you, but they aren’t an annoying person. It’s a behavior: learned, developed, and truly, not yours to judge. Choose to see them in the light you wish yourself to be seen: with good intentions, as a good person who is deserving of love and kindness.

4. What does this say about you?

share it!

share it!

Everyone is your mirror. That co-worker, your mother-in-law, your best friend, your partner; everyone you meet is your mirror. Your perceptions, judgements, and beliefs are all reflected back to you when you look at others.

What are your thoughts, triggers, and judgements revealing about you?

As you begin to shift to this mindset, you will learn a lot about the yourself. You will see what areas you are loving, which you need healed, and which areas you need to grow.

5. Remove all expectations of the other person 

One of the biggest ways we set ourselves up to be in judgement is when we expect people to be someone other than who they are. Allow people to be themselves, where they are, today.  

Danielle Laporte once said, “people are generally predictable.” I’m not implying to assume the worst about people- in fact I always believe in assuming the best.  I also believe in releasing expectations and allowing people to be their predictable selves.


It is not your responsibility to change them, only to love them. When you find yourself annoyed, irritated, or triggered, always start with yourself. If you’re a human, chances are you will be triggered and have to tame your judgements in order to love. Choose to see these moments as opportunities to learn and love more deeply.

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