A really good friend of mine, a.k.a. horsehead, would always reply in response to the question “Do you have any change I could borrow?”, “Hey man! Change comes from within.”  She also says when you give her directions to drive “straight”, “Stacey, go forward, never straight.”  You can see why I love this 36 year old wise sage.  Everytime I hear the same line of questions from others, I hear her wise wise words in my head…”change comes from within”.  It’s korny, but it works.

As I was thinking last night about how I was working on greening my home and all of the outside environment that I come into contact with, I thought about how overcoming my anxiety hurdles this past year has caused a progressive greening of my insides as well.  I think that it is wise to think about possibly changing some attitudes or thoughts that are within.  Afterall, what’s the point of living a healthy physical life if your psyche is a toxic mess.

So today, I want to encourage MEEPs to look at their innards.  That gross dirty business of sorting out the good, the bad and the ugly within.  I am am by no means a professional at this but I have heard from some pros in this area and have gotten some great advice.  Here’s the short list of the most helpful tips to green up the inside and blossom this spring into a beautiful green goddess.

1.  Identify toxic relationships.  I had certain relationships that literally made me sick.  Everytime I had to deal with a couple people for an extended amount of time, I would have a low grade anxiety attack or get sick.  First, I had to acknowledge my contribution to this negative interaction.  Could I do anything to help it?  Secondly, I had to decide to let these relationships peacefully pass after I was able to make my contribution to it “right”.  It involved a lot of forgiveness and letting go of guilt.  The hardest part, is when it’s family.  But sometimes, family members can be the most toxic because of past history.

2.  Adjust your expectations of yourself and get rid of toxic thoughts.  Sometimes, especially with mothers, you expect way too much of your body and your mind.  You can burn yourself out by doing way to much.  Whether it’s the kids school, extra activities, constantly being a stellar wife, mother and friend, we tend to push ourselves to this level of performance that no other person would ask of us.  When we don’t meet our own expectations, we fill ourselves with toxic negative thoughts.  Sometimes, we can get buried in that negativity, saying to ourselves “I am a bad mother (wife/friend).  Why can’t I keep it together all the time?  I have let people down.”  Stop filling up with toxic thoughts and say “I’m good enough.  I’m smart enough.  And dog-gone-it, people like me.”  Note SNL reference here.

3.  When you think someone else should change (i.e. your husband/partner) their line of thinking or actions, be the first to bend.  Here’s some of the best advice I ever received.  When you want someone else to make an effort at something, whether it’s getting your hubby to be more affectionate or do the dishes or a friend that just isn’t attentive to others, be the one to begin the change first.  They will almost always meet you in the middle.  Instead of expecting others to change for you to meet your needs/priorities and getting all worked up because they just aren’t doing it, make the first step yourself.  If you bend a little, they will bend a little and the change will begin to take shape.  So next time you are fuming inside your head because your husband didn’t take the initiative to cuddle or give your a kiss at a time you wanted it, step forward and give him a hug or kiss.  Or if you want someone to be more open and accepting, do something for them that shows you are open for communication and willing to give as well.

That’s just a start to ways you can green up the inside.  Take care of your body and take care of your mind.  And hey, Horsehead, this ones for you crazy girl.