If there is one thing we all experienced this year, it was change…. uncomfortable, unexpected, unwanted and in some cases traumatic. As I look back to this time last year, I think to myself “little did we know what was coming”, 2020 definitely forced us to slow down physically, but does that mean we allowed ourselves to slow down mentally?
After nearly burning out during the first lock-down, (yeah I know what you’re thinking, HOW?!) I decided to re-evaluate my choices and understand what was driving them. Let me explain myself a bit better, as the world was shutting up shop, I was opening up one…The Wellness Lounge Facebook group page, that I managed and coordinated daily for 10 weeks with an amazing group of people. This was in addition to 2 other jobs, dealing with a breakup and oh yes… a worldwide pandemic. I am smiling as I write this as I realise how crazy it all sounds, and yet there I was in the middle of that craziness. The question is why?
“as the world was shutting up shop, I was opening up one”
Not only did I take on this massively worthwhile and successful project but I also decided to embark on a weight loss journey, take up yoga, start exercising regularly, work more deeply on my limiting beliefs and fine tune my morning routine. I push myself, I push myself really hard, because I want to be better because I never feel enough. There is something deep inside me, that little girl that believes she needs to be more, to do more and have more so that she can be loved and accepted.
The belief shows up everywhere but this time it was in my never ending ‘to-do’ lists, you know the ones where you write practically all your life goals on a Monday and then give yourself a hard time when you haven’t achieved then by 5pm that day! See I told you…. Crazy! I feel lucky that I caught it this time before I did more unnecessary damage to myself. I don’t get angry when I realise that stress triggers old beliefs, I actually have learned to sooth that little girl inside me and take it as an opportunity to learn and grow. To be quite honest I feel very grateful to have this technique as it creates so much more space in my life for the things I want to BE.
There are 3 steps to effectively managing my stress
This is the biggest one, to become aware of what is the source of my stress and then examine what beliefs I am running and where or how are they showing up. The belief itself i.e. “I must do more, have more, be more” is in my subconscious, however, the fact that I am experiencing stress gives me an opportunity to recognise something is driving that emotion. I started to examine my ‘to-do’ lists and ask myself is that my daily list or is it more accurate to put that on weekly list? I was tired and yet I was getting up at 6am and checking email or finishing graphics before starting my morning routine. I had to own my behaviour, try to rationalise it before I changed it.
“I must do more, have more, be more”
Step 2 can be a bit trickier if this new to you. What is alignment? Well what if I asked you to describe how you want to show up in the world? Would you say, stressed, tired, anxious, uncertain, filled with self-doubt? No, I didn’t think so. What would you say? I know for me to align with my true self, means feeling peaceful, certain, content, confident and trusting. It also means that I come from a place of self-love. I don’t push myself, I soothe myself by giving myself permission to slow down, by entertaining concepts such as “I am already enough” and “I love and accept myself as I am, today” or my favourite “I am already there, I don’t need to fix anything and I don’t need to do more”.
At first we can resist these new thoughts because we are acting out of an old belief system for so long, it is like a suit of armour blocking us from living the life we wish to, a life perhaps we haven’t felt worthy of. By practicing these new patterns of thought, we can slowly move into a new and exciting energy. Notice how I gave myself permission to do less so I can feel more. I gave myself permission to stop, evaluate, reframe before I did anything.
By doing this, a weight began to lift off my shoulder. I put a boundary around that old belief and I started to prioritise love over fear, joy over stress and fun over burnout.
“I don’t push myself, I soothe myself by giving myself permission to slow down”
This is my favourite step, the step where I choose ME. Once I realigned myself and started to step fully into this new energy, I began to make choices that allowed me to become best self, and then everything began to flow. The internal battle of not having enough, feeling tired, wanting to do more, but doubting myself, just went away. I got out of my own way and began to live the life that I was meant to, this meant less time at the laptop, more time at the beach, less thinking about what I needed to do and more appreciating what I have and more living in the moment and less worrying about the future, and all while doing less and having more.
Wayne Dyer put it so eloquently when said:
“I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.”
Take a long deep breath and give yourself permission to be, “I am here now”, “I am here now”, “I am here now”.
The funny thing is, my business is thriving, I have more energy, I am clearer and more focused on my goals, I have continued to lose weight, I look better, I feel better and am in the best shape I have ever been in, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.