I’ve been trying out a new approach to life lately. Instead of imposing my own agenda on life, I’m really taking the time and space to breathe and see what I truly want.
It’s been kind of like having a son and really, really wanting him to be a football star. But all he wants to do is play dress-up. So after agonizing over it for months, you decide to buy him a chest for all of his dress-up clothes and play dress up with him! Because as disappointed as you may be, you realize there’s NOTHING worse than him not being able to be himself.
I reached a point where I couldn’t pressure myself anymore, and I couldn’t imagine living any longer without making my own well-being a priority. Taking care of myself and living according to my own truth is the most meaningful thing I’ve ever found.
Work, travel, money, making other people happy- those are all things that matter to me, but not at the expense of myself.
I still believe in my Passive House dream, and I really want to build it. But I’m letting it happen in its own time, which if I had to guess would be another year or two. Building a house is really fun, but it’s also one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done (especially when it’s done to this standard). And right now I don’t have the energy to start building or to figure out the financing. We’ve finished the preliminary design phase, but I’ve put the final design phase on hold for a few months.
I feel very comfortable, safe and happy where I am, and to quote Kelly Clarkson, I’m just catching my breath.
I’m also working on growing my postural therapy practice, which I LOVE! It’s so fun to have found something I believe in and can share with other people while hopefully making a living (or part of one!) at the same time! Here’s a link to my last post about postural therapy and the Egoscue Method if you’d like to check it out.
Over the last few months, I’ve sort of redefined my priorities, and I’ve discovered that I have about 4 number 1 priorities:
SLEEP- Without at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night, I don’t feel positive about much else.
MOVEMENT- I’m so kinesthetic, and I need time everyday to do my postural therapy exercises and some other type of movement. Usually two hours a day broken up throughout the course of the day is the minimum, more on the weekends. I know that can sound like a lot, but our bodies were made to move a lot! So if I don’t get at least that amount in, it’s not long before I’m grumpy and in pain. And I love to vary what I do- one day I might go to a pilates class, another day I trail run, then I dance around my room or do handstands in the front yard another day. Swimming, biking, hiking or climbing on rocks are some other things I try and throw in the mix. I try to keep it fun and playful and make sure it doesn’t feel like punishment in any way. A lot of times I’ll pretend that I’m a five year old jumping around outside. I used to get discouraged if I didn’t have a gym to go to or people to exercise with, but a lot of times it’s enough just to turn on some music and hop around in my room for 30 minutes.
CONNECTION- I’m an introvert, and I love spending time by myself. But with too much time to myself, I start feeling disconnected from the people in my life. Especially now, since I’ve been making more time for sleep and exercise, I’ve cut out a lot of social activities. But I try to keep that balance because I know it’s really important for me to have fun and stay connected to my community and the people I care about. And it’s great when things overlap, like hiking or dancing with friends, or taking a walk with my sister or boyfriend.
WORK TO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY – This is something that can be very subjective, but for me it means having enough money to be responsible and cover my monthly expenses with enough left over for a modest travel and going out budget and enough to buy fresh, healthy food. What I eat is just as important to me as movement and sleep, and unless I start growing a lot of my own food, buying fresh, organic produce can get a little pricey! But I also see it as a charitable contribution in some ways because I feel like I’m supporting farmers and helping the planet in tiny ways!
There are other priorities that aren’t too far behind these, such as time for writing and creativity. Time for house cleaning and other necessary logistical things. Time to travel, explore, and learn new things!
There’s not a ton of time left over once all these things are done! But if I start to notice one or more priority being compromised on a regular basis, then I’ve gotten too busy! I know that life happens, and if emergencies arise, sick loved ones need my help, or the apocalypse happens, I’m sure these priorities could greatly change. But for now, as a general rule, these four things are crucial to my well-being. And if I can’t take my well being with me to the rest of my life, there’s not much else that makes sense!