Cultivating the Movement Within
What a moment we are in right now, #Firestarters. A moment of renewal, reconnection, re-emergence. A great reset, if you will.
I’m so excited to share with you that I got to mark this moment with a very special milestone: appearing on the cover of Austin Woman magazine. After all of those long months of being secluded from the world, I feel like this is “getting back out there” in a big way!
You might also be having some big feelings about this unique season in our lives. And it’s totally OK if those big feelings are also mixed feelings. We just went through a lot, friends. A whole lot. We’ve all changed since March 2020. So we can’t expect ourselves to just pick up with “business as usual” as if nothing has happened.
The Great Me-Set
Instead, I believe our great reset must also be a “great me-set.” If your first reaction to that statement is, “Nope! No time for me. I’ve got goals to reach and movements to build,” then I want you to listen extra hard to what I say next.
Like you, I’m emerging from this pandemic with a fresh sense of urgency about my mission in this world. But I learned the hard way that any movement I create to serve others will succeed only when I cultivate the movement within myself. That means protecting my health, my spirit, my energy and my boundaries.
Creating Boundaries for Life
I’m sure you’ve noticed for yourself that the “normal life” we’re returning to is often at odds with paying attention to the movement within. It’s all too easy to get swept up in all the external demands on us. So it’s vital to be deliberate about your “great me-set.” Here are a few things that I am doing:
- Protecting unplanned time. Scheduling every single minute of your day is not going to make you innovative and productive. It’s just going to make you tired and cranky. When you have a little space in your life, you can stay connected to who you are and to the unique light you are meant to bring into this world.
- Putting down the phone. Or your laptop, or any other device you’re addicted to. Instead, just sit for a moment and put your hands in your lap. You can do this while meditating, or just taking a few deep breaths. Notice that when you place your hands on your lap, you tend to really plant your feet on the ground. And that helps you feel rooted and strong.
- Maintaining good habits. Obviously, none of us wants to go through another pandemic! But, at the same time, you probably made some changes over the past year and a half that will serve you well going forward. For me, one of those changes was saying yes to myself first before I say yes to others. Before you fall back into your pre-pandemic ways of being, identify the new habits you want to hold onto.
- Scheduling realistically. Let’s take the example of coffee chats. They don’t seem like a big commitment, right? But “little things” like these meetups can consume your week if you’re not careful. Set a limit on the number of coffee chats you’ll do per month — and how many will be in person vs. virtual. And don’t forget to block out some time after the chat to take care of the follow-ups.
- Refueling after reconnecting. We’ve been missing our in-person meetups so much that we forgot something very important: They take energy. Energy to get ready, Energy to drive to the restaurant or your friend’s house. Energy to make conversation. No matter how eager you are to catch up with others, pace yourself, especially if you’re an introvert. If you have plans one night, make the next evening more low-key.
- Tuning out. Have you noticed how much more you’re talking, or just hearing others talk, now that more of life is happening in person again? When you have a little time to yourself, whether it’s in the car, on a walk or on a flight, give yourself a break from words. Instead of listening to the news or a podcast, put on some instrumental music that helps you chill.
Can you do me a favor? Commit right now to your own “great me-set” and let know what you’ll be doing. Remember, the movements you will lead all start with the movement within.
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With Faith & Fortitude,
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