Authoring a book about achieving wellness has put me into an interesting predicament. I care deeply about others' mind space. I believe we've put forth some important things for people to consider as we journey this crazy life, and then suddenly....BAM....yeah, I need to heed my own advice. There's a strange accountability going on here that kind of ticks me off. "Do as I say, not as I do" just doesn't cut it once you've put it all out there in print and want others to follow along, but it's easy to justify when I'm nobly taking care of everyone else, right?
In our work, we talk a lot about false beliefs. They take up residence in our minds and hearts and begin looking like truth. One of the biggest false beliefs we can fall victim to is that by taking care of ourselves, we are compromising the care we give others. We must be last on the priority list because it's selfish not to put the needs of others first, right?
Wrong. Can we pour some truth into this right now?
By investing in yourself, you're increasing your capacity to invest in others.
Wellness is a journey, and I'm on it with you. I can get stuck at the bottom of the ditch like a pro, but here's what I'm learning: I can also do something about it, and if I can, you can.
Back in January, this whole pandemic/stuck in the house/winter situation had me feeling like garbage, physically and mentally. I was grumpy, sluggish, uninspired...the list goes on. For the sake of those stuck in the house with me, I took stock of the situation and decided that I was lacking space in my days to clear my head. What could I do to create that space for me? Back in 2013, I trained for and ran a marathon, but an injury in 2014 sidelined me from running and I haven't run since. However, I've often thought how much I enjoyed that time being outside and my reality is that when I'm running, I cannot think about anything else. Seriously, I have to pay attention to the road or I will Superman into the asphalt (I have the scars to prove it).
No, I have not been training for a marathon, but I did print out a 6-week plan to be able to run for 30 minutes straight and followed it faithfully. Did I mention I started this in January in Ohio? I can't with my timing sometimes, but yet again...
It's totally okay, even beautiful, to get uncomfortable. When the end of my six weeks came, I decided I was going to attempt my 30 minutes running on a path beside a nearby reservoir because I love being near the water. I'm not gonna lie, when I finished, I got a little emotional about it. I took a selfie (OMGosh) and sent it to our family group text, and here's what I want you to know: No one said, "Mom, you are so selfish" or "Dardi, shouldn't you be doing something else?" Instead, my husband said he was proud, and my son, Kade, called me a badass.
badass (n.) A person whose extreme attitude or behavior is admirable (definitely a PG definition, but you get the idea!)
Honestly, I had to sit with this for awhile. This was no longer about me running for 30 minutes straight. This was about people I care about proud because they see me finding my strength, finding my joy, and in the doing, be an example for them to do the same. If you think about it, there's comfort in seeing that someone you lean on is in a good place.
What makes you feel strong? What gives your mind space to just be? It doesn't have to be a physical activity. It might be art. It might be a hobby. It might be an instrument or singing or writing or dancing. Someone just asked me recently, "Where do I start?" Just start. Summon your grit to find your baddassery. Carve out 15-30 minutes to do your thing at least five days a week. Put it in your planner, mark it on the calendar, do whatever you need to do to make sure it's a priority. The winter is giving way to sunshine, so now would be a great time to start. My guess is you want the people you care about to be the best they can be so they contribute well to society...a badass in mind, body, & soul. They'll learn it best if you show them how.