Self care - taking care of yourself - is often the last thing that care-giving, busy, ambitious, overworked, stressed people will take the time to do. Today though, I needed to just encourage myself to put myself back at the top of my own list...and so, too, will I encourage you to do the same.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Realistic, helpful caring of ones self is as individual as each of us are. What works for me may not work for you. And that's A-OK. All that really matters is that you take the time to figure it out for yourself, and then implement the plan that'll bake it into your life. It's the difference between a topping on an ice cream sundae, and getting the topping already mixed IN the sundae. If you don't make sure you get oreo ice cream in the first place, you could run the risk of an oreo falling off the top. Too risky. Mix it in.
If it's at all helpful though to you, I'll share what I've discovered is a...
Along any path or journey, there are bound to be twists, turns and detours. Expect them.
What really matters is not so much that they occur, but more than that, how you receive and respond to them.
When something unexpected comes across your path, take a moment to notice it and name it. Take the time to really see clearly what it is that's in front of you. If the thing in front of you elicits an emotional response of some kind - feel that. Take the time to really feel your feelings and allow them to happen, for however long you need to.
While you are going through this, lean hard on your self-care habits and the people in your life who lift you up. Then, grant yourself grace and time to deal with whatever it is that's presenting itself.
When you are ready, and only when you are ready, evaluate your perspective around the thing. Be aware of what your perspective currently is, and if it isn't a positive one, do what you can do reframe...
If there's one thing that I think opens up every other door, it's this one shift in perspective.
You've heard it said a million different ways, but no matter how you say it, the message is the old "glass is half full" outlook. I call it, coming from a place of love. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what you call it, as long as you are able to apply it to your life.
What I know is that when you are able to figure out for yourself what it looks and feels like to achieve a default perspective that is love-based, it is a shift that is powerful enough to change everything in your life. When you change your starting place, you change the path and inevitably, the outcome. It all starts with a simple, yet profound choice at some point.
This choice of perception could start at the beginning of something - OR - you may get halfway down the line and realize that you need a change. Well - shift then! The beauty is that there is no "right...
Many say that it takes about three months to set a new habit. I think that's why the idea of resolutions in the new year can present challenges for so many, and why we typically see so many give an all-out effort for the first few weeks, only to see that dwindle as time moves on.
My approach is around setting intentions instead...and then re-setting them.
Before we go about setting them, though, we should first orient to why they are so important! Simply put, intentions are critical because they put in place a map with guideposts to help us navigate life. If you are not able to see where you are going, it's going to be tougher to get there.
When it comes time for you to approach setting intentions, make sure to set yourself up for success here. That means quiet, phones on silent and uninterrupted time.
Then, really start to think things through. Allow yourself to dream big sky dreams! Put yourself in the destination...
It was Tuesday, March 16, 2020 at around 7:30PM that I left my home here in NYC. I packed enough clothing to get me through 10 days, my computer, and my house plants.
There's no need to reiterate that it's been quite a year - unlike any other. Brimming with pain and struggle for so many; but also presenting important moments of joy and new discoveries brightening the edges.
Today as I sit here, there is real reason to have hope, and the light at the end of this tunnel is shining brighter every moment. All of us, collectively, walking toward it. It's an incredible time to live through, and I'm overwhelmingly grateful to have lived through it.
As we approach this light and run back to our lives, the instinct will be to just get out of this time and place; move on and put it all behind us. I hear that. But. It is in this very moment in time that we would all benefit from pausing and evaluating before moving forward, and so...
There are so many great, inspiring leaders.
The more I learn about their choices and lives, the more I realize that they didn't all set out to lead, and many of them didn't know they were leading when they were. They were just making the next, best choice they could for what was in front of them at the time.
They were driven by a deep and burning desire to do something; to help; to serve. I think that we all are here to figure out how we can uniquely serve, and then go about the business of doing that.
Always, but especially lately, I've been impressed once again by the leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. The non-violent approach is especially impressive at this particular moment in time - their choices to easily juxtaposed with the choices that we currently see all around us.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said many profound things during his time here with us, which was cut far too short. One quote that is sticking...
Lately I've been thinking and feeling really deeply.
I think it's a mix of worldly circumstances, goals achieved and just a function of where I am in my life. I find myself in thought way more than I ever have been. Less time being reactive; less time spent outward.
In many ways, I have been feeling a sense of resolve.
As we draw a calendar year to a close, it's only natural to begin to think about our own resolutions and what we may aspire to in the coming year. It's a time to reflect and look back at all we accomplished...and didn't. Most importantly, it's a time to understand why. (It's worth noting, too, that you don't have to wait until the end of the year to do any of this).
This year as I think about the end of December and the time I carve out for myself to think and feel, to evaluate, the idea of intention keeps popping up in my mind. I wonder, is there an opportunity here to view resolutions...
These are challenging times.
Everyone in my life, everyone that I speak to, has something going on in their lives right now that is challenging them. It could be related to health, to relationship, to uncertainty, to employment...all of it. This realization got me thinking about a conversation I had with a good friend and someone who is connected to self not too long ago. This person has been in my life a few years, and has been a friend and guide to me through some of the most uncertain times of my life so far. The last time we touched base, the conversation became about the opportunity that challenges give us.
For most people, challenges are something negative, something to be overcome and fixed. But in our conversation, he offered to me that challenges that come into our lives were not negative. They aren't something to be resisted. What if, instead, challenges were an opportunity to stop, listen, go within and...
I very recently experienced another moment of one of life's Reminders. It's amazing, really, that now when they come, I can feel them as they approach, when they are happening, and also recognize when I'm on the other side. Today, I'm on the other side of my most recent Reminder and am feeling at peace and deeply grateful.
While I was in it, I felt like a buoy being pulled down. As soon as I cleared it though, everything around me and within me just sprung up! Right back to the surface, taking a big breath of fresh air at the top.
This particular Reminder was about Clearing Space - specifically, a forced clearing space in life to allow for what should really be there - people and activity.
As I think back on it, I understand that if we really listen to ourselves, I think we know what should be there. How many of us are distracted by other things, though? Especially now, when there is so much going on around us that can...