I recently sat in on a class titled Administrative Skills for Office Professionals.
One of the things I’ve always said to my children and anyone else who would listen is this: “We can learn something new every day if our mind is open to it. It might be something as simple as a person’s name, but we’ve learned something.”
I’ve been an office administrative professional and business owner for three decades, but I went in with an open mind.
I learned about some fabulous modern-day tools and resources, but the biggest things I gained from that class were introspective.
“How many times have you scribbled something additional onto your calendar, just so you can check it off?” the instructor asked.
Cue hand raise sheepishly in front of my midsection.
Thankfully my BS detector and those motherly eyes in the back of my head spotted the slight nod of those other heads in the room and the hands barely visible at the table’s edge in front of my classmates.
We all know how it’s supposed to be done: Make an outline and follow it.
Some people do the BIG projects first.
Some people do the little projects first.
Some people procrastinate by reading e-mails and doing social media “research” and filling in that calendar with last minute things like “Order Patches’ pills,” “groceries,” “clean bathroom,” “laundry,” “dishes,” “deposits,” “social media posts,” and “See last Thursday” (for all the shit I didn’t do.)
Why do we do this? Because it feels so good to look at that white page at the end of the day or week and be able to say, “Look at all those check marks!”
As the instructor so poignantly noted, however, many of those to-dos are fluff stuff that have no real substance.
I felt that correlation to my very core.
Fluff is the kind of stuff that makes us look busy because it fills that empty space outside of us but does little to nothing to make us feel fulfilled inside.
Who knew fluff could be so damned draining?
I often skip the hard stuff like this post I’ve been wanting to write for weeks, getting back to that next book I’m writing or finding entities that might be interested in collaborating and then making the contacts.
Why do we skip the tough stuff?
It’s time consuming.
It’s hard because deep down inside I fear another rejection.
It’s exhausting because feeling rejected (as well as fearing the possibility) is emotionally and mentally taxing.
Now, flash forward to my visit to a local spa for a little pampering, personal pleasure, and infrared light therapy to elevate my mood.
I used a gift certificate I’d received for a facial (if you’ve never had one, it is so thoroughly relaxing) and then waited in the Relaxation Room for my turn in the Infrared Sauna.
On the coffee table in front of me was a magazine that featured an article “Guide to Nurturing Yourself” by Dr. Michael Finkelstein.
In this article, Finkelstein talks about the need to nurture all of our facets and how our choices can achieve this.
He states that when we meditate by ourselves in our living room, we are enhancing our emotional and mental well being, but when we meditate with a group in an outdoor park, then we might simultaneously enrich our social and physical facets, as well.
Finkelstein refers to this as “amplifying the positive impact on our health.”
He lists five strategies for achieving this type of synergistic healing: “Practice healthy multi-tasking, Create a morning ritual, Put yourself in the calendar, Set aside a day of rest, Connect to your life’s soul purpose.”
Ultimately, though, all five of them come down to one thing: You putting yourself first.
Scheduling yourself–your needs and dreams and desires–into your calendar helps you to be well, work well, and do well to the best of your ability every day.
Scheduling yourself into your calendar is one of the best preventative health care measures you can make![Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Scheduling yourself into your calendar is one of the best preventative health care measures you can make.[/Tweet]
Your greatest healing comes when you acknowledge the two sides of your calendar, Journeyer: The side that takes care of everything/everyone else and the side that takes care of You.
It’s kind of like those flight attendant instructions to “put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.”
We MUST do this, Journeyer.
What makes you happy or brings you peace?
I know people who guard their time like a watch dog: from 8-10 I walk…meditate…read…sit in nature…write…
A blogger I adore signed up to participate in NaBloPoMo thirty-day writing challenge as a way of committing to her creative practice.
During the designated self-care time, there are no cell phones, no e-mail, no helping kids with their homework, no cooking (unless it’s on time bake or in a crockpot), no laundry, no helping family or friends figure out how to get out of the jam or heartache they’re in…
Our neighbors do this by putting themselves on the calendar. Every. Week.
Sure, they may choose to make exceptions now and again, but the operative word is choose.
Healing is a choice, Journeyer, we choose to give it our attention. We choose to seek answers. We choose to discover the paths that lead to our own resolution.
For those of us who somehow grew up thinking that doing things for ourselves is selfish, letting go of that behavior can be hard. Really hard.
And, yet, what I’ve recently learned is that it is as easy as this: 9:15 facial, 10:00 Infrared Sauna.
I am working hard to remember that if I don’t put myself on the calendar then I ultimately have less time to take care of others, because my days are filled with fluff…
Rumi once said, “Go find yourself so you can also find me.”
What time and where did or will you find a piece of yourself today?
Yours in hope, healing, and happiness,
Everything changed the day I gave myself permission to prioritize my own peace, joy and desires. I literally had to overwrite my old patterns of jumping for my loved ones and overscheduling to keep everyone happy.
I saw a mantra from Danielle LaPorte, creator of The Desire Map:
“Less proving. More living.”
My soul pulled me toward that way of living and loving.
It’s been a process with struggles and triumph. Some relationships blew up. Some grew closer.
I’ve never felt this whole or loved or joyful most days.
To your question: I found time for myself this morning in meditation, creating and visioning my dreams to start the day.
I plan to carve out a bit more time later by heading outside to see the sunset.
Slowly, guilt releases. It requires intention and practice.
Looking forward to responses from others on this for fresh ideas on self-care.
in loving service + gratitude,
“Less proving. More living.” I LOVE that. It’s a lesson many of us could stand to learn and to live by.
Thank you for sharing this and your story of taking care of yourself.
I so appreciate your honesty and your courage to keep following your dreams and your heart, and to taking care of you in the face of adversity.
I learned the hard way that when we change ourselves, that doesn’t mean others in our lives will change with us. The loss of those friendships hurt, yet the new neighbors I’ve met are equally beautiful.
“Slowly guilt releases. It requires intention and practice.”
Thank you for being here and sharing, Melissa!
May you continue to know the gift of healing by putting yourself on the calendar! <3
Yours in hope, healing, and happiness,
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