I learned an important lesson two summers ago, one that has served me well. Relaxation leads to discovery.
Have you ever pushed yourself for so long in an attempt to the best mom, the best in your career, the best manager of your home that you felt a nagging gut instinct to slow down--but didn't listen? Because the only time that is free is devoted to family, occasionally friends, and there simply isn't time to spend with yourself.
And then it builds into frustration, exhaustion, questioning, perhaps hopelessness that the routine will repeat forever, until your body and mind finally tell you that you've had enough.
Being the best at all things leads to the collapse of something down the road, and it's never worth the risk to the things that matter most: health and family.
When I allowed myself to ignore my instincts to slow down (because I didn't know how), my body began to do it for me: first in the form of kidney stones that led to infections that led to many doctors, and then the mental and emotional exhaustion set it. It was time to listen.
So I did.
One whole summer - no teaching for the first time in 4 years - no idea how to relax.
My birthday was coming up, a milestone birthday for me, at least. The only gifts I wanted were in the form of experiences. Help me learn to relax - a plea.
This is what followed:
- A girlfriend took me to a class to rediscover my love of essential oils, something I had put on hold almost twenty years.
- My sister sent me for a reflexology appointment, knowing how much I hate my feet and anyone touching them.
- I walked on the beach in North Carolina - my Mother's gift.
- My husband gave me time - to go and do what I wanted to do without the worry about what the kids were doing, and we spent some much-needed time together as well.
- I got a massage - a Swedish massage that I would never have gotten on my own.
- I took yoga classes, and then pilates.
- I spent time in my organic garden and made teas, juices, salads.
- I rode a horse again.
- I painted.
- I wrote.
- I tried new natural products and soon made my own.
- I allowed the business I had dreamed of for many years to slowly form and take shape.
- I met new women doing the same thing and friendships & collaborations formed.
By the end of the summer, I had made a decision: I would spend one more year working full-time, and then I would shift my schedule to part-time. I would play with the idea of the business, and share what I learned with other women, maybe even help a few along the way to relax and explore their own dreams a little. I would just do it. I had waited long enough.
I did it all.
I haven't looked back.
One decision to listen and relax, and allow my mind to open to new experiences created a new world that I never imagined would be possible, not in my life, not for me.
Which was why I didn't listen…Until I did.
Will May be your month of discovery? What do you think is possible if you sit still long enough to find out?
For access to some of the tools I have used, like monthly calendar pages and book recommendations, join the monthly email club with the many other great ladies in search of their own discovery.