So, I read a really interesting blog post that dealt with how we aren’t very good at celebrating our successes. And by success, the author counted things like: finishing a load of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, booking a new client, oh and you know, landing at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List! And yes, ending with a biggie after a list of tasks that most of us do often and probably don’t particularly enjoy was on purpose. The overall point? We don’t allow ourselves to live in the moment or feel and enjoy little victories and accomplishments, let alone big ones. If we don’t have our next five steps planned out before finalizing the first, we are behind, underachieving, not working hard enough, etc, etc. Are you guilty of feeling this way? I most definitely am. Reiki Daddy jokes that he can check in with me on just about anything because I have our family’s next five years planned out in my head already. Sadly, there is some truth to his poking fun. The other sad part is that, for me, this way of life… sprinting to the next thing, not savoring a “win” or even just appreciating that I tried and/or finished a goal or task, inevitably leads to burn out; in a big way.
During my recent stay at “down in the dumps land” the above mentioned blog post and its premise would not leave my thoughts… Days, weeks, and months passed and like a little bell, it’d go off in my mind every now and again. Coincidence? I think not. Typically, it’d happen when I was feeling pretty funky. Because the longer my burn-out period lasted, the lower I spiraled. But, these little moments, small glimpses of clarity, would shine through and at times I would give myself a break. I’d take a moment to just digest what was going on with me. And the more I did, the more I was made aware of opportunities to break the cycle. For instance, instead of waking up at 4:45 a.m. to get a workout in before my little one arose, I got up, made a cup of coffee and read a book in my pajamas. For a whole hour! For a whole week! Say WHA?!?!?
Then, my husband’s company issued me a health challenge (well, not me personally, but I took it as such – more motivating that way… You know, the: “SUCK IT biotches!” mentality ;)). If I hit 10,000/steps a day and complete a 5K within 3 months, we save a good chunk o’ change on our health insurance this year. Um, hellooo? I have a two year old… 10,000 steps? Shoot, I can do that in my sleep… The company even supplies the pedometer! No brainer. And my recent morning cup of joe/reading ritual (yes, before dawn) along with the brand-spankin’ new fancy-schmancy wrist step monitor started turning things around for me. Truthfully, I knew something would all along (via those non-coincidental-Divine-bells-in-the-form-of-a-blog-post-reminder ringing in my ear). Anyway, all this got me a-thinkin’ (uh-oh, better watch out!)…
I don’t know many people who fall behind willingly. In fact, most of us are so overextended it’s inevitable. And, if or when it does happen, how about skipping the self-deprecation train? Instead of berating ourselves about being slow, lazy, incapable, or for coming up with “excuses”, why not just accept that we’re at where we’re at, wherever that may be?
I know, I know… It’s so much easier said than done. It’s also much easier to extend this “break” to others (e.g. family, friends, acquaintances, even strangers). If only I could count how many times I’ve been telling someone not to be so hard on themselves one moment, then turning around and shaming myself the next… Yikes! If I gave myself even a quarter of the encouragement and praise I gave my daughter, nothing could stop me! It’s so easy and enjoyable to lift others, so why not try, just attempt, to do the same for ourselves?
A little self love and allowing some truly personal space can go a long way. Although, we have already established that this is HARD to do sometimes; so I’d like to give you permission. It is totally cool to take 5 minutes, 2 hours, a day, a week, whatever YOU need to just BE. Maybe even celebrate the “little things” and/or give yourself a smidge of credit for all you do? Ohhhhh, let’s up the ante and throw in a compliment or positive affirmation at least 1x/day? Something along the lines of: “I seriously make the best lasagna EVER!” or “I love and approve of myself, and I alone create sweetness and joy in my life.” (Louise Hay) And since I’m sure you would totally offer me the same permission and/or invite; yes, thank you. I will do the same:)
With Love & Gratitude,