Updated: May 3, 2020
I experienced some tough but valuable lessons recently.
And the crazy part is, I already knew what these lessons offered. I had the knowledge. I just lost touch with it.
I’ve talked about this before. The bits of knowledge and wisdom we all have, yet just knowing is not enough. We must stay connected to it internally, in a deep, emotional, visceral way that inspires us to take meaningful action.
As a new entrepreneur, and a one woman show, it gets challenging to prioritize day to day. There are so many elements to running a business, especially at first when you are trying to get it off the ground, it can be difficult to choose where best to spend your time; networking meetings, writing marketing material, researching technology, researching latest findings in your field of service, etc etc etc. It’s very easy to get caught up in trying to do ALL THE THINGS.
Slowly…day by day, week by week…what used to be non-negotiable habits and rituals moved down on the list of priorities. My workout routine became less important. My meditation ritual fell to the wayside. My journaling habit disappeared.
And then suddenly I found myself, seemingly overnight, in quite a negative mindset. I was questioning all of my decisions. I was filled with self-doubt and negative self-talk. I was wondering if I should just give in and get a job.
Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with a support system of people that do not support the “just give up” mentality, and I have come to recognize how to use them as a mirror for when I need to check in with myself and take a pause (this alone is worthy of a whole other article, so stay tuned).
So I took a deep breath. I gave myself some space to think. I held the commitments I had made but ceased adding any other work or meetings to my calendar, for about 2 weeks. I gave myself some grace and love, and then dove into trying to figure out what had changed. What was different from earlier in the year when I was feeling in such flow and command over my mindset and life?
The answer was glaringly obvious once I stopped long enough to think about it. All the things I knew I needed to be doing to stay healthy, I stopped doing. And my mental state went in the toilet with my healthy habits.
That thing called mind/body connection is real. When we are not showing care for our bodies, we are also not showing care for our minds. How we feel in our bodies will be reflected in our thoughts, and a vicious cycle begins. For me, the combination of my physical activity coupled with practices of yoga, meditation, and journaling, keep me centered and in check with the vision and values I hold for my life. Even when one of those practices is briefly on hold, the others act as that little voice reminding me to not forget about the others, and WHY it’s important to quickly get back to visiting the other practices in my family of self-care. Over time, I lost touch with everyone inside my self-care family, and the result was I became disconnected from my internal wisdom and source of inspiration. I started looking externally for sources of wisdom, direction, and inspiration, and I briefly lost sight of my path.
My story can be applied to any of you. It’s so easy to get caught up in ALL THE THINGS we think we should be doing. We run from thing to thing, and we get caught up in what others believe our priorities should be. Self-care, on the surface, doesn’t provide value to anyone other than you, and therefore it often gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. This is particularly common for women, who often find it difficult to give to ourselves first, and once we fall out of these rituals, the cycle begins, and can be incredibly difficult to pull ourselves out of if it’s not caught quickly.
My message to you today: stop what you are doing. Pause and take a breath, maybe even a few breaths. Ask yourself, what non-negotiable habits am I holding sacred in my life to make sure I am staying healthy? If the answer is none – that’s ok. You have the power to change it. What happened yesterday or last week or last year doesn’t matter. You are limitless possibility, and you have the answers inside you, but we often don’t give ourselves the space and time to stay connected to what we truly desire. Healthy, non-negotiable mind/body practices give you that space. It is not selfish. It is an act of love.
Have a healthy & mindful week!