Life is short. And, every single day, it is getting shorter not longer. This is of course a very confronting thought, but it is the truth.
For many, many years I have lived by shoulds and oughts. These harsh thoughts, not only about myself but also about what I needed to be doing or not doing, were fuelled by beliefs that I was not good enough.
Knowing that this is not the truth, over the last 10 years I have managed to achieve more, and create a life I would never have imagined possible for myself. With this has come a great sense of satisfaction having reached goals I previously thought I would be unable to attain. But, it has come with a price.
From pushing myself too hard, and not listening to my deepest desires, I have lost motivation. By not allowing myself sufficient time to rest, I am exhausted. And, with the constant pushing, I have lost interest in striving.
A doer by nature, I'm usually always on the go; if not physically, then mentally. The next idea, plan or thought around what I can do next is never far away. But things are different now. What is missing is that fire in my belly that always burned so brightly.
It's certainly not a bad thing though. What I have realised this year is what has been missing from my life.
With the focus on building a business, and whilst doing so working way too hard, I realise I have given too much. Always being 'on' for customers and followers, answering their emails, comments and messages 24/7 for eight and a half years has taken its toll. But, I have learned so much from recognising this fact. This is actually unsustainable, for anyone. Learning this about my own behaviour has been life-changing. Here's what I've done:
I've set boundaries. Recently I have put in place strict rules around how and when I communicate with my audience. By turning off notifications on my phone I'm no longer prompted to pick it up each time I see those little red numbers appear and instead, I go to the apps when I am ready.
I'm focusing on being. Taking more time out for myself to be; to have an hour, a morning or even a whole day without plans is a game changer. To put space between my doing, whether to sit for five minutes between tasks or to take an hour's nap, I'm slowing down and loving it.
I'm doing only what brings me joy. By really focusing on and finding the things, places and people that truly bring me joy I'm filling my own cup on a daily basis with meditation, yoga, blogging, journaling, writing poetry and starting to explore abstract acrylic painting.
All of these new practices have all made a massive difference, and now my challenge is to keep going. I'm aware this will take time and effort, but I know that it's possible. It will be easy to slip back into old patterns, so being very aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions will be key.
I'll be sure to keep you up to date with how it's going.