I’m going through kind of an odd time in my life. For those that know me well, I am typically outgoing, social, the one who brings everyone together – and I’m definitely having the most fun while I am there.
Lately though, I have this deep urge to go quiet. Go within. Be alone. I don’t feel sad or depressed. (I have in the past, this is not the same). I’m not angry with anyone. I’m just craving time with myself. And that is OK.
There was a time when I thrived on being the ‘busiest’. Maybe I will again, once I outgrow this period. I am not sure. But today, I love only doing things that nourish my soul. Not overworking. Not ‘hustling’. Not blasting on social media that I am a ‘badass entrepreneur’ and that sleep is for the weak.
Because I love sleep and quiet and doing whatever I feel like doing.
I know this period in my life won’t last. I will get busy with my contracts and lots of travel later this summer. I will be celebrating the monuments in my dearest friends lives, such as bridal showers, weddings, birthdays and bachelorette’s – none of which are quiet. But in many ways they are soul nourishing, so I look forward to those moments.
Sometimes I don’t think my fiancé and best friends really understand me. Or maybe I am just overthinking it. All of us go though times where we feel misunderstood.
I’ve had many of my best friends for almost 20 years, and my fiancé and I have been together for 3 years. They all know that in a regular downtime in my business, I would be doing one of three things. (Or all of them.):
- Stressing about money because I should always be working 18 hours a day, otherwise – what am I doing with my life?
- Planning all of the get-togethers, parties and girly hangouts my social calendar can handle (also, body, mind, over-all health) until I hit a point of exhaustion.
- Beating myself up and overthinking every little thing with all the spare time I have.
With the occasional slip of my mind falling victim to number three (I am only human!), I feel proud to say I am not subscribing to these usual tactics on my downtime. For the first time in my life I am actually listening to my soul and what it is craving. And when I don’t listen and swing back into my old ways, I feel exhausted, drained and have the desire to shut everyone out.
I’m not sure what’s going on with me exactly. Instead of being mean to myself, questioning my feelings and pushing myself to do what I don’t want to, I am practicing kindness and compassion with myself.
The thing is, I’m kind and extremely empathetic to the important people in my life. I drop everything to help them, listen to their problems, organize and plan everything to make life easier for everyone – I like to give in my friendships. It’s one of the characteristics that makes me a great friend.
But to myself, I’m not always as loving. How crazy is that? I can give and give and be there for my people – but when I need something, I pick others needs first.
So instead of looking at this time in my life as a bad thing, I’m looking at it as a blessing. My soul is finally demanding love, care and attention. My body is demanding more care than it ever has in my life. My mind is craving books, articles and intelligent conversations.
Why would I ever beat myself up for that? It’s not selfish, it’s the best thing I can do for myself which in turn will make me a better partner, friend, sister and daughter.
Instead of my regular down time routine outlined above, I’ve supplemented it with this one:
- Going to therapy.
And I’m not ashamed to admit it! Many people turn to therapy in ‘crisis’ mode. When something isn’t going right for them in their lives, or something tragic has happened. For me, that wasn’t really the case. A voice inside just kept telling me to go, so I did.
I want to become a mother in the next couple of years. When I look back, I’ve truly lived so many different lives in my short 32 years here. I’ve experienced a lot of pain and growth, as we all do. I decided I wanted to explore the dark parts of my past to shine light on them and not bring them forward into my future family. What has ended up coming out of this time with my therapist, is so much more beautifully deep and self-reflective than I could ever have imagined. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to focus on self-growth and healing.
- Being on a ‘Diet from Diets’.
I’m so sick of effing diets. I’m so sick of food controlling my life, businesses, my mind and my body. I think I will elaborate more about this in an upcoming blog. But yes. I eat whatever I want. 90% of the time I only want good and healthy food anyway. I love to cook. It’s medicine for my soul. So I cook what I want, what my body wants. And I ACTIVELY change the conversation of my mind to my body. (Highlight actively. Negative self talk around body image does not always come easy to me. But I am trying.)
- Moving the way my body wants to.
Sometimes that’s heavy weight lifting, sometimes that’s yoga, sometimes that’s 30 minutes on the stepper, sometimes it’s just stretching. One thing I’ve found though is that the workout doesn’t matter as much; it’s the effort to do it 4-5 times a week. Moving my body helps me bust through blockages to my optimal health, both mentally and physically.
- Honor my passions – and create with non-monetary motives.
For my fellow entrepreneurs, you will probably get this the most. It seems that every corner of the Internet there is a new ‘expert’ encouraging you to monetize your passions. And don’t get me wrong, that can be a beautiful thing. But I think we as a society are chasing (and by chasing, I mean forcing) that a little too hard these days. I’ve fallen victim to this in the past and it’s a great way to spoil a passion, let me tell you.
Today I write, read, journal my feelings, cook and create because I love to do it. No strings attached. It feels so good. And it’s been making me money without the hard and tedious pursuit. (Again, a whole other blog for one day soon.)
- Surround myself with those who want to grow, too.
I’ve joined a mediation group, I had dinner with my friends of 20+ years, I went to TedX and cried at all the beautiful speakers with a friend who touched my soul, I am reading in the park with a group of new friends this week. Just nurturing, light and elevating activities.
And when I’m not doing these things, I like to be alone.
I know my most important people will still love me and be there when I am ready to be my usual social self. But for now, I am honoring this period of spiritual growth. If you ever feel the need to recluse and go within, honor it. Don’t shame yourself for it. It’s truly one of the most beautiful and transformative times I’ve ever been through.