Category Archives: challenges

Rest your mind, soothe your soul.

Though I continue to feel as though I struggle with mental mind games, ridding myself of the guilt prison and easing up on the rush-rush-rush of life, at the same time, I know I am thisclose to that breakthrough that I am craving. Freeing myself of the need to overcomplicate my day, week, and season, going with the less-is-more approach to all things social life, family life, and home life, and, almost, if not more importantly, that same approach to my workouts, my eats, and my ‘fit life’ generally.

It’s easy to overdo it in the workout department when I love what I do, what I teach, and all things runtasticness. 

But when you step back and make each ‘me’ moment count, you realize less-is-more is actually far more effective than jamming in too much. I continue to learn this and strive for this and think I am finally finding my ‘happy place’ balance of the best of both – doing and resting.

It’s easy to get into the excitement of the season and try to jam in too much to each day, week, and month.

But it’s far more worth it to sometimes say no (Lindsay says it so well here!), reset and focus on priorities and those that matter most – even when sometimes those that matter most is yourself! I am working on this balance, and helping those around me who also fall into this yes-itis habit to step back, think, then say yes or no whatever it may be that’s on their plate.

It’s easy to get up-in-my-head about myself and comparision-itis sets in.

But when I step back and see how far I have come, how inspired I am and can be to others, I realize the mental mind games aren’t worth it, they aren’t productive and they are self-defeating.

And when I read things like this beautiful devotional from Holley Gerth, it all comes full circle. I need to rest my mind far more than I do. It makes me feel chaotic, and anxious, and more busy than I actually am, and not nearly as balanced as I strive to feel and be.

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Less is more. And it is utterly soothing for the soul. (the below from my ‘angel’ Lindsay – the most perfect words that I just can’t quite put into words as well as she does here).

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On being content.

This post was really hard to write. I almost didn’t post it. But I think it’s important to process feelings, and also just be real and transparent, so this is me, doing just that. 

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It is no secret that I struggle with letting go, (under) rather than OVER thinking and just being. It’s been my goal to ‘just be’ and live my life that way, yet, lately, I have had the hardest time in a very long time being content. And I am ashamed to even admit that. Especially because that inability to be content? It’s focused squarely on me. Solely.

I feel as though I have slid back into years-since-gone mental mind games. I can’t be 3f1af10609d3dcfb89530984c272f675content with me, because I won’t let myself. And I am so mad at myself for even going there and not being my own best friend.  When I help my friends, clients, my sisters, even, when they are having a bad day, pull themselves out of a mental rat hole, and treat themselves as a friend, not an enemy, yet I can’t seem to do it for myself.

And then I read my beautiful blend Sarena’s post on contentment and I feel utterly humbled. Her words snapped me back into reality with a b*tchslap of perspective I needed more than I thought I did.  I need to harness her words – appreciate the here and now and stop reaching so hard. WHY AM I REACHING?! I have a life I adore, yet I find the one thing that may always be (in a good way) a work in progress and fixate on it to the point of negativity. Why do I feel compelled to always be reaching, changing, doing? Reach, reach, reach.

Why can’t I just BE. Be normal. Be myself. Be free. Without second guessing. Without worrying. Without being in controlallthedamntime.

So, here I write, marking my words, I am done with this. It is not worth it. No more of the mental mind games and the guilt prison, and instead, I will embrace who I am now, not who I wish I was, or what I wish I looked like, or what I want to do more of…the here and now. ME. I worked hard become a me I am proud of, and there is no reason to tear down years of hard work and growth over mind games.

 

The guilt prison.

I’ve been lamenting this topic for awhile now – both personally and experiencing it around me, at the studio, on social media, amongst friends.

The guilt prison.

The self-imposed guilt *we* put on ourselves – whether it be to get in that workout, run faster, longer, more, push through a cold, jam in a zillion errands into an hour because you’re racing the clock to your next meeting, commitment, plans etc. or any ‘imaginary’ self-imposed deadline you put against yourself – because it’s usually either a) unrealistic, or does not *need* a set timeframe or deadline to complete. We just put that on ourselves as a deadline, which then in turns to unnecessary pressure, unnecessary stress and ultimately? The guilt prison.

Because we didn’t meet that imaginary deadline or goal or number we were trying to reach.

So we guilt ourselves, we turn to negative self talk, we beat ourselves up, or even worse, still try to find a way to meet this ‘deadline’ or (usually unrealistic or unnecessary goal), even if our heart, mind, or body isn’t really into it, but our minds take over and tell ourselves we need to do such-and-such or we are a failure.

I realize I am speaking in the proverbial ‘we’ when I am of course talking about myself, BUT I am also talking about seeing this in action just about everywhere I look, lately.

The negativity, the pressure, the anxiety – and all of it? Completely and absurdly unnecessary. Completely arbitrary. Completely self-imposed ‘deadlines.’

For what?

What do we accomplish by guilting ourselves into doing things vs. doing them out of intention and because we truly WANT to?

Absolutely nothing. 

The guilt prison is entirely draining and self-fulfilling, really, too. And partially because whatever we’ve set our minds to, is sometimes too much, or motivated by the wrong reasons, so it will naturally fail, as a result.

5e854ace1c41ff3afe31ff66716e6d77For me, it goes back to intention - my word for 2014 – and doing things out of want, not because I ‘need’ to or because I feel a need to keep up with a certain routine, but literally because I want to. This could be social plans, plans with family, a b9 class, a run,  or even food. Eat out of intention. Do out of intention. Work (out) with intention.

Strip away the guilt. Get back to basics. Let’s break free from this guilt prison. I know for one, I am entirely exhausted of it, from my own tendencies too, and my natural inclination to do more, more, more, when sometimes less and simpler is truly best. I am ready to shed this inclination fully and finally, and I hope if you struggle with this, you will work towards a guilt-FREE life, along with me.

After a crazy week, it’s just okay.

It’s been an exceptionally crazy week.

One of those weeks where I realized stuff has to give, and it’s just okay. 

In my journey towards letting go, loosening my death grip on routine and perfectionism and putting undue pressure on myself (there’s enough pressure in this world, why do I add MORE to it?!), it was one of those weeks where I had to put my money where my mouth is.

And not stress the extra laundry (gasp!), stray dish or two in the sink for more than an hour (gasp! gasp!), or class I wanted to take (today, but after an especially trying two days, I just have nothing left, so I let this go too).

And step back, take a moment to sneak in a few extra intimate moments with M this morning, since we’ve been ships passing in the night (our sole dinner together was Monday night, sadly), and embrace the time we did have this week – running outside twice together, a few extra mushy IMs or texts during the day, an extra ‘I love you’ or two.

It was also a chance for me to take a step back and reset my focus, and reinvigorate things at work. Though the last two days, in particular were mentally and physically tiring (just long days out of my comfy cozy home office, big meetings and lots of them), I came away from it feeling a bit more energized, and if that’s not a good sign, I am not sure what is, when it comes to work.

It was also a chance for me to test my patience in all things sickies. Last week, the stomach bug that had me appreciating what rest does, and this week? A cold that would not relent. The snot just wouldn’t stop coming. So.much.snot. Gross, I know, but seriously, it was of epic proportions. And it added an extra layer of stress to my two days of meetings where I felt less than professional with my box of tissues, raw nose, hoarse voice and cough. But I made it through, I took it day by day and I didn’t try to do too much. I know it made a huge difference to the severity of this cold (for as much snot as there was, I didn’t ‘feel’ that sick, thankfully!).

I am feeling ridiculously relieved as the week comes to a close, and pleasantly surprised at what letting go and practicing what I preach has done for me this week. I think that deserves a cheers or two, or three, don’t you? ;-)

I can’t relax.

I know, I know, it’s not really a newsflash or anything.

But today, during a much needed massage (I rarely get them and when I do, I instantly wonder why I don’t more often!), I realized I cannot relax. I tense my shoulders, I close my eyes but they aren’t really that relaxed, sleepy shut, they are shut but still somewhat tense, and while I eventually relax, it’s usually near the end of the massage that I really feel like I’ve ‘succumbed’ to the massage and my body feels limp and serene.

I use that as an example, a very real one, at that, and my seeming inability to loosen up (literally and figuratively!) and let go. It is *that* ingrained in me, to be go, go, go, that really relaxing, without something on my mind, a list, a reminder to do something, clutter I want to clear off the table etc. It’s always something.

I do it with my workouts. (that is changing though, as I’ve written about here most recently and a top priority for me to revamp my mindset and stick with my ‘smarter, not harder!’ mindset and actually believe it when I do it, not do it and then harp on it for hours after, silly self guilt!).

I do it with M. Yep, I do. And I hate it. Sometimes I just want to let go more around him, let him take the lead, release more. In every way (ahem). To melt into his hugs always, and not for just a moment. Whenever I catch myself rushing through THAT, I literally want to slap myself. Who does that?

I do it with work. This has gotten better, but it still happens. I have this PR agency mentality (everything must be done…YESTERDAY. every deadline, everything, faster, faster, do it, do it) that I still haven’t shaken after three years *not* working at an agency, and I catch myself rushing through editing something, or writing something, or replying to an email. I need to relax in this way too. Take more time to think about a response. No knee jerk reaction. No let’s see how fast I can get this done and impress my boss…but at what cost? Quality? Stress? Self-imposed deadlines are my nemesis.

I need to relax. I need to keep this high on my list for 2014, the year of intention. It just must be done. Who doesn’t relax during a massage?! I mean, come on!! ;-)

363fa4362f345a1973ce9deb7efcb613Boy, was that an a-ha moment today, that unfurled a slew of other ways I don’t ‘relax’ in my life. and it’s food for thought for me as we head into the first official work week of the year. Game face on…