2017 Intention: Setting My Soul on Fire

What matters to you? Does everything in your life add value to your life and reflect what truly matters to you?

While we know what “value” means let’s get literal. The Oxford dictionary defines value in the following:

“noun. The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something:”

“A principle or standard of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.”

So I ask you again…what matters to you in life? Does everything in YOUR life add value?

  • Does everything that you do (actions, habits, and behaviors) add value to your life?
  • Does everything you think, believe and focus on in the internal recesses of your mind add value to your life?
  • Does everything that you have and consume time, money, and energy on add value to your life?
  • Does everyone that you surround yourself with add value to your life (be careful about this one because often people that we dislike can teach us more about ourselves than people we like or that agree with us)?

New Years is often the time that people feel compelled to reflect on some version of these questions and chart a plan of action for change. I’ve been marinating on these questions for the last month, and in the spirit of keeping-it-real and facing my sh*t I offer you where I am at with asking myself these same questions.

There are a few areas of my life that I’ve taken a brutally honest look at, the first was alcohol.

It’s been 15 days since I made the conscious decision to not drink alcohol. 15 days since I made a conscious decision to eliminate a substance from my life that does not add value to my body, mindset or goals. 15 days since I realized (for me) that drinking is a habit that does no good for me and keeps me from being present with people in my life. Nothing majorly tragic or traumatic happened (recently) that lead me to make this decision but I have to admit I sure had my fair share of issues with it in the past. Issues that as I reflect upon them remind me that there is more inner work to be done (isn’t there always).

Now I’m not knocking anyone who drinks. This post is about me, and what I am assessing in my life to be of value. My hope is that by owning my sh*t, being vulnerable, and sharing it with the world I would inspire others to do the same. It’s scary business though. As a recovering people-pleaser I want nothing more then to write something all eloquent, inspiring, motivating, and uppity. As a recovering people-pleaser there is this voice in my head that says, “What will people think of you? You’re a psychologist and people expect you to have all the answers. People expect you to have all your shit together. People will think…(enter anything negative or judgmental here)”

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You know what I say to that people-pleasing voice? F*CK YOU! No, just kidding, my anger, wounds and pain want to say “f*ck you,” but my heart says, “Gloria, It’s okay. That voice is how you had to learn to survive. It’s what you developed to try to get love, validation and acceptance. It’s okay because there is another way.” My wise-mind self knows that the best way out (of a pattern, habit, emotion, etc.) is through…thank you for that nugget of wisdom Robert Frost!

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I digress…but not really. In my deeper wisdom I know that everything is connected. That life is one indivisible whole. That I must go through the process of facing my sh*t, assessing my sh*t, and changing my sh*t to heal and grow spiritually. Trust me though, at times (many times), I feel it would just be easier to go back to old people-pleasing habits BUT I don’t and I risk being judged, for the value of keeping it real and being vulnerable.

Another major area that I have been reflecting on is STUFF. Yup, tangible material things. This intention was inspired by the movie “Minimalism: A Documentary” As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I grew up in a single parent household and monetarily poor. I grew up envying other peoples big homes and financial security. I grew up wishing for the day that I did not have to think about how much my toothpaste, toilet paper or shampoo would cost. It sounds silly but when you have lived check-to-check for most of your life everything little thing matters.

Over the last few weeks I have been going through areas of our house and asked myself “does this possession have a purpose and/or add value to my life?” Yes, it stays. No, it gets donated or given away…peace out stuff! It is incredibly freeing to get rid of stuff! Stuff that just takes up space or gets stored. Stuff that we think makes us a better person but doesn’t. Stuff that makes us feel important but it doesn’t. Stuff that we think defines who we are or what we believe. Stuff that we have not used in one year, two years or 10 years! So I encourage you all to give it a go , throw shit out and reflect on who you would be without things to define you.

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The last area is one that I have really been struggling with lately, assessing what sets my soul on fire? What simply sets my soul on fire? I feel like I have so many projects on the burner and things I can do well but do all of them set my soul on fire? And am I willing to consume less time on those things that don’t to free up myself for the things that do? Am I willing to shut down that people-pleasing voice to honor what I truly want to do with my time? Am I willing to focus on project at time when society, groups, organizations and institutions say that in order to be successful we have to be DOING more? This is a toughie and will take some time, meditation, more writing and reflecting to figure how it will all play out. I know I will get there with intention and courageous action.

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 So with all that said my intention for 2017 is:

 Move more towards creating a life of simplicity, value and presence

by doing the things (and ONLY the things) that set my soul on fire!

There it is beautiful people! That’s what’s been going on with me and my blog black-out for the last the last month. I had my 37th birthday a week ago and it triggered a different perspective in me. I’ve been in retreat-mode to refocus on what and who is important at this point in my life.

I wish you all a wonderful 2017 but remember how you live today is how you live your life. Live today with value, intention and purpose. Wake up tomorrow and do it again. So by this time next year you will know you have accomplished what you set out to do…create a life you love to be in.

Keep shining beautiful people,

Dr. G
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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is sport and performance psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California and works with elite sport teams and athletes across the country. She is competitive athlete herself and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family and traveling.