I'm embarking on a year of self-love and hope to share my experience with you in the process. From meditation, manifestation, visualization and so much more.
So tomorrow I'm turning 28.
Usually, I'm not big on celebrating my birthday, and I never really feel like much changes, but this feels like a big one. I'm officially in my late twenties, meaning I'm almost 30, and it's making me think about what I want out of life. It's scary and exciting at the same time, and over the last few months, I've found myself doing a lot of souls searching about what this year will bring.
It's interesting because this actually is a time of people's lives where things shift. A friend told me about this astrological concept called a “Saturn Return”. Basically, it happens every 30 years or so and it's the astrological period in our life when Saturn has completed its orbit around the sun, coinciding with the time of our birth. I know, I know. This seems totally far fetched and out there, but after reading more about it, I actually can see the truth in it.
As you lead up to your 30th birthday (and also 60th and 90th, etc.), life takes you down one of two paths–either you take off or everything falls apart. And unfortunately, more often than not, it's the latter. It might not be as dramatic as everything around you crashing down, but for a lot of people, they realize their life isn't what they thought it would be. Maybe they're not as successful as they imagined, they're not where they thought they would be financially or even personally. It could even be that they're not the person they imagined they would be.
I wouldn't consider myself a spiritual person, but for the past few months, I've felt like something was off. I can't really explain it; it's almost like I feel disconnected. From everything; my work, my relationships (with both Matt and my friends), and myself. And part of me feels like it might have to do with the fact that this is a pivotal time in my life.
If you asked me where I thought I would be at 28, honestly, it's not where I am today.
I thought I would be working at some marketing agency, climbing my way up the corporate ladder. I had no clue I would be running my own business. And while I absolutely love it, it's also incredibly challenging (which makes it exciting at the same time).
I also assumed I would be married and planning for kids. And I thought I would be a homeowner. Reality is, I'm living in a place where the cost of living is out of control and I don't have any desire to my raise kids here.
Career-wise, I'm content. I love the flexibility of owning my own business and know there are only bigger things to come. But the other part? In my heart, it feels like that “dream” is still years away. It's scary. I'm scared. And I don't really know what's next.
But there's one thing I keep coming back to: Self Love.
I think so many of us, myself included, rely on external forces for our happiness and fulfillment. We look to our partners, our friends, our family, our work, our community, the world we live in, to make us happy, and while yes, they can certainly be a huge part of it, if don't have internal peace, you'll never be truly happy. We focus on the outside and don't take the time to look at what's inside.
So this year, rather than making big, huge, life-altering plans and goals, I'm focusing on me. It's going to be my year of self-love.
It feels selfish writing that, but I know that if I can find happiness and peace within myself, then the rest of it will fall into place. I want to feel grounded. I want to feel centered. I want to feel confident. I want to feel connected. I want to be more self-aware. I want to be conscious and compassionate. I want to feel empowered. I want to feel at peace. I want to feel unconditionally happy. I want to, deep down in my soul, find self-acceptance.
I know it's going to be a lot of work, but I feel mentally prepared for it. I think it's going to be an interesting journey and I'm actually pretty excited. I'm not totally sure what these changes will be, but a lot of it feels spiritual. Perhaps it's connecting to my higher self or listening more closely to what the universe tries to tell me, but really my focus is going to be to get in touch with who I am, what I want and what I need out of life.
I've already started taking a few steps towards this new “me”. For one, I've started meditating. Right now I'm only doing 5 minutes a day, and usually only on the weekdays, but it helps. I feel a sense of calm. I also took a 3-hour meditation workshop yesterday in Chelsea, which was about cultivating authentic self-love, and while it wasn't quite what I was hoping for, it was still inspiring and gave me a few techniques I can use in everyday life.
I've also picked up some books that I'm excited to dive into. The first is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, which I've heard amazing things about. The other is “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, which a friend recommended to me. I'm starting the Power of Now today and will move on to the other when I'm done.
But there are a bunch of other things on my list, which I thought I'd quickly share:
- develop a consistent meditation practice
- start journaling
- explore the idea of manifestation and visualization
- create a vision board
- get to know my body and its cues–from eating, to exercise, to sleep, etc.
- go on a meditation/spiritual retreat
- find a business coach or mentor
- spend more time in nature
- spend more time with friends
And I'm sure there will be others as this year unfolds.
So basically, there it is. My journey to self-love has commenced and I hope to share it with you along the way.
I realize this was a bit different than what I normally share here, but I felt compelled to write it down as I have a feeling it will have an impact on what happens with this site and my business in general. As much as this is a place where I share recipes and help you learn how to make healthy and delicious food, “healthy” is more than food. It's also the products we use, the environment we live in, the relationships we have with others and the relationship we have with ourselves.
My goal with this is not to just ramble on and on. It's to be open and transparent with you about what's going on in my life, which hopefully I'll be able to share in a way that is impactful for you. I know I'm not the only person who goes through experiences like this, so I will definitely be sharing what I learn and if it's something you've been thinking about, hopefully, I'll be able to give you resources and information that will help you.
For now, I just want you to know how grateful I am that you're here, reading these words, and sharing your time with me. I truly appreciate you ❤️
43 comments on “28: The Year of Self Love”
I hope you have a very happy birthday tomorrow and much success with your journey. I remember 29 was a big one for me. Thanks for all you do!
Thank you so much, Anna! xo
Have a wonderful birthday, Alyssa! Growing up I couldn’t wait to be 28. For some reason it was this magical age that represented arrival. True adulthood. Stability. Success. But for some reason my math and the entire year I thought I was 29. ???? So I was 29 twice, and they were both great years! May every year be a year of self love.
haha that’s too funny Heather! And thank you; agreed that every year should be a year of self-love <3
Have An amazing and happy birthday!
Thank you!! xo
Happy Birthday, Alyssa! I marvel that, for one so young, you exhibit such maturity, intelligence and wisdom. And it’s only the beginning. Great things await you. You are so inspiring. Thank you sharing with us on so many levels. I too have the book by Eckhart Tolle (did the online meditations with Oprah and Eckhart a few years back), and treasure the book by Louise Hay. In fact, I own most, if not all, of Ms. Hay’s books. Thank you for being a blessing. May you be abundantly blessed in return. xox
Thank you. Truly, thank you! I loved reading your note and feel so grateful to have readers like you <3 I look forward to reading the books and can't wait to embark on this journey! xo
Hello Sister Leo, Happy Birthday! I am grateful for the quiona connection and now see how paying attention is more benefit. I just celebrated my 59th birthday and am on a new path of self love discovery. Guess I am a late bloomer : ) but I do relate to all the bullet points you have lined up for yourself. Thank you for being so open. You are already succeeding. You may find some inspiration at You Tube – Abraham Hicks teachings. I wish you well on your new journey and starting a new chapter in your life.
Thank you Connie. I will certainly check out Abraham Hicks — those videos seem to keep getting mentioned, so I think that’s a sign I need to tune in. Good luck with your journey and I hope that you find joy in everything you do 🙂
I will be 65 Wednesday! This will also be my year of self care!! ????????????I have learned that through Louise Hay that U am WORTH it. She suggests we say to ourselves in a mirror every day, “I lobe you. I teally, really love you.”
I’m so excited to read her book. And happiest of birthdays to you, Jan. Sending you all the love <3
Happy Birthday or should I say re-birth days. I can relate completely to your thinking/questioning. I’m in my 70’s now but I clearly remember going through this phase and never hearing about it before so I did’t reveal it to anyone. I’m so glad you are able to express yourself so well. Funny, and probably since that time, I’ve intermittently studied spiritual writings and talks. As a matter of fact I just went to the library yesterday to take out Tolle’s “The Power of Now”. I have heard him speak before but never read the book until now. Good luck in your search for spiritual meaning and thanks for all your great posts, Alyssa.
Love this Barbara and thank you for your support. It means the world! I appreciate you being here and for sharing <3
Thank you so much for sharing. We all have periods in our live when we kind of stop and try to see some sort of sense in what’s going on and where we’ll be. And those times are challenging and scary but also so-so-so fulfilling to look back on once you’re “on the other side”. I have recently gone through quite a bad depression and am slowly working my way back to a “normal” life, and I mean “normal” as in one where I’m not just staring in front of me and don’t even gat out of my pyjamas all day. Figuring out what I want with my life is just one step I’ll have to take.
I look forward to seeing more about your journey. I write quite a bit about my own in my blog, but that’s in Swedish so…
Wow, this is amazing Jenny. Thank you for sharing and opening up about your own journey. It’s amazing how, even across the worlds and through screens, you can connect with people on this level. I wish you all the best with everything you do and I’ll definitely make sure to come read your blog (thank goodness for Google translate!) xoxo
Congratulations for paying attention Alyssa, you’re having a growth spurt! The first six items on your list will serve you well throughout your entire life, not just now. Practicing self-love is a brilliant life tool that I wish was around when I was your age. Resist any suggestion that it is selfish. You have a huge talent that you share with enthusiasm – thank you for spreading quinoa love! Eckhart and Oprah did a 10 week Skype discussion on “A New Earth” around 6 years ago that brought his writing to life and explained it in down to earth terms. If you can find a link to it, great listening for walking, driving and pre-meditation listening. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing <3
Such a great reminder. It’s definitely going to be a journey, but I using tools like these books and online classes like you mentioned, I hope will make it easier and help me see everything more clearly. Appreciate you sharing and I’ll definitely look for that link. Someone else mentioned that here, and it sounds like it was pretty amazing. Love to you <3 xo
WOW 28??? u look 21 !!! thats insane, your gorgeous ! thats it, I’m eating quinoa everyday from now on 🙂 haha , keep shining.
Aww thanks so much! That’s really sweet of you 🙂 xo
xo xo xo sending you much love and good vibes on your birthday! YOU DO YOU! <3
Love you GB!! xoxoo
I hope you have a restful wonderful birthday, and “instead of asking ‘what do I want from life? a more powerful question is, ‘what does life want from me? ” Eckhart tolle
And in asking this question, my hope is that your journey will take you outside of ‘self’ to the universe of loving mankind. That is where you may find your true self and great happiness.
Thank you for the comment! I look forward to reading his book and connecting with his message 🙂
I just started following your blog after coming across your YouTube but I have to say this spoke to me more than anything I’ve read lately! My birthday is also coming up and although I will only be 24, I think that self love and having a year all about me is what’s missing in my life too! Instead of focusing on everyone’s happiness around me, I should be focusing on me! I love the idea of a vision board as well!
Exactly!! I honestly think that everyone needs a year like this — it’s important that we focus internally because that impacts everything we do externally. Keep me posted on how you’re doing with everything and thanks for being here! xo
As someone who is going to turn 21 in one month, this post was exactly what I needed. I hope that by age 28, I’ll have the honesty, dedication and determination to set a goal like yours! A year of self-love sounds…well, lovely 😉
So glad you found it helpful! Wishing you a very happy birthday and hope that you too can dedicate a year to self-love 🙂
I wish you a very happy birthday and enjoy your time with yourself. It is just as important as time with others. Also, enjoy the journey as you find that internal peace that will surely open your heart for what comes next!
Thank you so much, Leslie! So nice of you to comment <3 xo
Happy birthday Alyssa! I think your bucket list of self-love is amazing–best of luck to you!
Thanks so much Cassie! xo
Happy Birthday Alyssa! I hope you have a wonderful day. I understand where you are coming from. I am several years older than you and still think this is not where I thought I would be in my life. We tend to think other’s lives are better, but we don’t know what that person is going through. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself first. We need to put ourselves first sometimes to be there for others and our own lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you on your journey. May you find what you are looking for.
Thank you so much for the beautiful comment. I so appreciate you taking the time to write and for sharing your words of encouragement. It means the world to me <3 xo
Happy Birthday Alyssa! You are a constant inspiration with your enthusiasm and willingness to share yourself. I read Louise Hay’s book many years ago for the first time and find that I like to go back to it every few years. I am 65 years old and was just introduced to Eckhart Tolle’s book a few months ago. It gave me a whole new perspective. The thing that spoke to me the most was his teaching that “you are not your thoughts”. Somehow that was a revelation to me and has allowed me to observe my thoughts but not let them dictate my life. It is strange how just the right words can make something become so clear in your mind. You never know when you might come across those words which is why we must keep living each moment with our eyes and ears open. Good luck in your new quest. I’ll be anxious to see how you progress.
This is exactly what I needed to read! Even you just writing ‘you are not your thoughts’ totally resonates with me. So many of us live in our own shadows, and we hold ourselves back from being all that we can be. I’m super excited to dive into his book in the coming weeks!
Well you definitely don’t look 28! when i first saw your blog i thought you were younger,lol but i guess that’s always a good thing, people tell me.. I’ll be 27 next month..
You’re sweet, thank you!! And happiest birthdays to you <3
We are totally on the same page. I also just turned 28 (on august 26th) and have been going through a lot of self love / reflection as well. I’m currently reading “mastering your meal girl” and I’ve been loving it. I will have to check out the two books you mentioned. ps – love your youtube channel and your blog… you are an inspiration!
Ahh you’re awesome! I’ll definitely check out that book too and happy, happy birthday! XO
Popping in to see what’s new with you and stumbled upon this. I’m 27 and will be turning 28 this year and I know the exact feelings you’re describing. Maybe it’s the fact that 30 seems like such a milestone in our lives, but either way — keep reaching for the stars. You’ve accomplished so much (just think about where you were two years ago!). Anyway big hugs to you. xoxo!
You are geatfull and generous. Happy to see your values.. I love Vermont and living in Montreal it is a valuable trip state! Coming back to quinoa can i use cooked quinoa (not flower) to incorporate into a healthy pancake.
Merci beaucoup, Michel
Thank you so much!! Great to hear from you Michel 🙂