Gaining Control In Time Of Crisis

Gaining Control In Time Of Crisis

So here we are.

When I mapped out my vision for 2020 it never included the words “global pandemic”. Life has an interesting way of throwing the unexpected at you, doesn’t it? And while we often can’t control what happens in life, we always get to control how we respond to what happens.

Including global pandemics.

While none of us knows the exact impact COVID-19 will ultimately have, there is one thing I do know for certain…

I need the very best version of me to show up. And at a time of vast uncertainty, the one certainty is I get to decide how I will respond.

And so do you.

In times of crisis and uncertainty some of the first things to change are structure and routine. With an unexpected upheaval we initially are trying to simply understand what just happened. Often we shift into a defensive posture, retreating and playing small until things get back to what we would consider to be normal.

For me, structure and routine are essential right now. Having structure and routine and the discipline to maintain them provides me with a sense of control at a time where so much is outside of my control. It creates a sense of stability, creates positive momentum, it changes my energy, and it empowers me emotionally.

There are several key areas of my life I habitually focus on, and they are especially important at this time. These areas are the ones I know need to remain structured if I Continue reading “Gaining Control In Time Of Crisis”

Sometimes You Just Have To Put Yourself First

Sometimes You Just Have To Put Yourself First

It’s one of the reasons I sometimes wish I never grew up.

Snow days.

I miss having snow days, those unexpected days off from school because Mother Nature dumped enough white stuff to close the schools. Even the anticipation the night before, watching the weather forecast intently hoping that come morning we’ll be getting that call telling us to stay home.

It’s too bad us adults don’t get snow days. We could all use an unexpected day off from being adults sometimes, can’t we?

Recently I treated myself to a snow day. An all-day meeting I had scheduled on a personal day off from work was cancelled. Because of snow. The responsible adult in me contemplated going into the office, but the kid in me saw this as an all-too-rare opportunity to honor the kid in me.

The kid won.

My unexpected free time lead to a very welcomed day of being unscheduled and somewhat invisible. How often does that happen to adults? Unscheduled and somewhat invisible is as awesome as it sounds. My adventure took me to some of my favorite places, long drives through yet-to-be-plowed roads with everything around me covered in a thick blanket of still-falling snow. My meandering took me to snow covered beaches, dramatically different than when I visit them in the summer yet equally as beautiful. Snow meets sand. Silence and solitude. It felt as if I were in a meditative state, observing and appreciating the world around me and the peace I felt within me. All I needed was some hot cocoa.

The little kid in me was quite happy.

Occasionally I would glance at my phone, but for the most part it was just me and the snow. Working with my team, any work responsibilities had already been delegated the day before in anticipation of me being out of the office. Home responsibilities had also already been covered and I was actually home an hour earlier than usual.

Juggling career and home and parental responsibilities leaves very little time for ourselves. There is always more to do. Always. And when we sometimes do find a few moments to ourselves we’re not quite sure what to do with them. Our default setting is that we should be doing something, and that something is almost never about doing something for ourselves.

I’ve become much more aware of my need to recharge me, to take better emotional care of me. There always is more to do, but I’ve learned to include and prioritize my own well-being on that list. The better I am at being me the better I am in all areas of my life.

Becoming invisible for a full day isn’t always an option. So I’ve actually been scheduling time for me to take care of me, blocking out even a few moments of time to just tend to me. Even if that means getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Meditate, stretch, exercise, read. Or simply doing nothing. It doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is that you do something for yourself.

Self care needs to be prioritized and scheduled, otherwise it simply won’t just happen. The world isn’t going to do this for you as the world often feels as if it’s conspiring to prevent you from such self-indulgence.

When was the last time you gave yourself some time just for you to recharge and reconnect with you?

Self care isn’t a luxury. It’s not self-indulgent. It’s not selfish. It’s a necessary component of your physical and emotional health and of you becoming the best version of you.

I think you deserve to be the best version of you.

Don’t you?

Time Really Doesn’t Care What You Do With It

Time Really Doesn’t Care What You Do With It

I hadn’t thought of it quite this way.

Just six weeks left.

It’s mid November and the year is coming to an end. Six weeks and it will be the start of a new year. It will also be the start of a new decade.

That’s the part which stunned me a bit.

Where did the last ten years go?

Most of the time I never think about time. The busy-ness of life often keeps my mind on what’s right in front of me. And the next thing you know a full decade has come to an end.

It’s interesting to look back at the decades of your life and reflect and remember what life felt like back then, what you did, or what you didn’t do. The victories and the defeats, the joys and the pains. A common denominator of the decades of my life is that the decades sort of just happened, simply unfolding in the way that they did. Kinda feels for the most part I was in many ways just going along for the ride.

Having collected many decades myself, being reminded that this one is coming to a close has surprisingly stirred things up within me. As I look back at the past 10 years there is a sense that I could have done better. Done better in the sense of showing up with far more intention and presence. It was a decade of transitions on many levels, but my initial assessment is that life during these last 10 years was more reactionary than intentional. Behold the glory of hindsight and experience and looking back in time and seeing how things could have been.

A younger, less-evolved version of me would have used this awareness against me. I can so vividly see that version of me calling me out for not making the most of those years, even though I have no idea exactly what making the most of those years actually would have looked like. Sometimes we can really hold ourselves to such unrealistic expectations, can’t we?

With my new found reality that I’m six weeks away from a brand new decade, I’m giving serious pause and envisioning what I want to become and accomplish and experience in the coming ten years. For the first time I’m setting clear intentions for myself going forward into the new decade, no longer content of just seeing where time will take me.

The next ten years are going to happen regardless of how I chose to show up for them. Time is indifferent. Time doesn’t care if in ten years I’m looking back wishing I had spent them differently.

That’s not a conversation I intend on having with myself in November 2029.

What are your intentions for the next ten years? What will be your priority? What do you plan to become and accomplish and experience?

The life you want isn’t just going to happen.

It’s a great day to be you!

Losing My Yoga Virginity

Losing My Yoga Virginity

Sensing I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, she invited me to move my yoga mat closer to hers…

I don’t recall the names of the positions or poses. I do remember diving into something I knew nothing about and doing it anyway. Trusting and allowing, even after the yoga instructor repositioned me right in front of the class so I would be better able to follow along with her instructions.

Yoga!

How did I find myself in this situation? I actually took a day for me to do something for me. A self care kind of day. Taking time off for me isn’t something I can often do. Maybe if I was a better organized person or if I wasn’t so good at making excuses, maybe then I would have found the time to do something like this sooner.

My day was spent at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health which on the surface doesn’t Continue reading “Losing My Yoga Virginity”

A Strong Reason Why Will Take You Anywhere You Want To Go

A Strong Reason Why Will Take You Anywhere You Want To Go

As you read this, statistics indicate some 80% of all New Year’s resolutions will have failed by now.

How is that possible? It was just six short weeks ago that intentions were set and new ways of doing things were put into motion to support them. And now six weeks later 4 out of every 5 resolutions are already abandoned?

Perhaps it’s a lack of discipline. Maybe an inability to work within a new system to get the new results that we wanted when the resolution was initially set. While discipline and structure are critical in accomplishing anything, they’re not the most important parts of the process.

The most important?

It’s the reason Why.

Change is always challenging. Creatures of habit, we are. But without a strong reason to do so, it’s too easy for us to simply revert back to doing what we’ve always done and Continue reading “A Strong Reason Why Will Take You Anywhere You Want To Go”

How Much Of You Are You Willing To Leave Undone?

How Much Of You Are You Willing To Leave Undone?

What if we were to see ourselves the same way God sees us?

God has a lot of big ideas. And each of us is one of them. Each of us intentionally created in our own unique way. It’s the uniqueness of our individual talents, gifts, and abilities that we are here to develop and share with the world. Little pieces of God’s biggest idea.

God doesn’t just create things for the sake of creating them. Honestly, I don’t think He needs the practice. In a world of divine intention, there are no accidents. All of nature and all of humanity are here for very specific purposes.

The intention of creation is full expression. The idea becomes reality. That is what nature does. Trees grow as tall as they are supposed to. Trees don’t question their worthiness nor do they compare themselves to other trees and decide they aren’t good enough and decide to play small. They just grow, fully evolve, fully expressing the intention of their creation.

For us humans, the full expression of our own creation often gets a bit complicated.

Becoming all we were intended to become certainly has its challenges. Perhaps the greatest challenge is actually figuring out exactly what it is we were created for. Our Continue reading “How Much Of You Are You Willing To Leave Undone?”