With busyness constantly surrounding us and a "to do" list that endlessly expands, often our greatest task is finding time to step out of our busyness and into ourselves. Yet we can't be our best "self" if we are tuned out of our "self."
Continually placing the activities and people around us ahead of caring for ourselves is like feeding others and not feeding ourselves. We simply cannot survive and thrive that way. More so, we were never meant to survive and thrive that way.
That's right! That means we don't need to feel guilty about taking care of ourselves as much as we take care of others (and sometimes even more!). How many of the following statements can you affirm in your life to sense if you are taking the time you need to be your best self?
I consciously do at least one thing every day to be kind to me. Yes No
I pause at least once each day to reconnect to my passion and purpose. Yes No
I have a clear vision statement for my life. Yes No
I sleep six to eight hours with quality sleep every night. Yes No
I love my sex life with my partner and make time to express my intimacy. Yes No
I spend the quality time I want with my children. Yes No
I am the friend I want to be to my friends. Yes No
I eat a healthy diet that makes me look and feel my best. Yes No
I exercise at least 20 minutes every day. Yes No
I know the things I need to do to make me happy in my life. Yes No
I do all of the things that make me happy in my life. Yes No
Each of us can have all of these things, and more. We don't need to compromise, we simply need to prioritize and organize! The "I" that begins each of these affirmations is the "I" that can make them happen. We just need to choose and then take action.
More than 10 years ago I needed to make those choices and take action for me. I changed my corporate high heels for hiking boots and left my home country of Australia with a backpack to discover "something more." I had sought refuge in the corporate world to feel worthy in my life after surviving a childhood of sexual abuse by my father. My earliest memory of abuse was when I was 4 years old. I left home at 17 to escape my father. I worked two jobs, day and night, to pay my rent. I put myself through college, and created a highly "successful" corporate career. Yet, despite having everything on the outside, I was empty on the inside. I had a choice -- to stay and live a dispassionate life, or "change my shoes" and find my passion. I chose to step out, play, adventure, and find my passion.
Michelangelo said, "The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it."
I discovered, as we each can, that our aim can never be too high, despite the challenges we must overcome to reach our greatest heights.
So what can we do to tune into ourselves, take care of ourselves, aim our highest, and prioritize and organize to become our most aware, passionate, and successful?
It starts with "I." It starts with our own choices every day. We need to "change our shoes," step out of all that is holding us back, and leap into all that will carry us forward. Is it hard? Sometimes. Is it risky? Perhaps. It is out of our comfort zone? Probably. Does that matter? No! Do it anyway for the sake of your ultimate happiness and success.
Here are six steps to start today. Commit to repeat these for 30 days and create the habit of being your best in each day.
1. Create a pause in your day and adventure within.
Schedule 10 minutes of "quiet time" in the morning and in the evening to connect with the passion and purpose within you. Write down those things that make you feel most passionate and purposeful and create one thing you can do today to express that in your day.
2. Identify the changes you want in your life.
Write down the changes you most want in your life. Into which "new shoes" do you want to step? Which shoes do you need to leave behind?
3. Change the way you think.
For each change you desire, create the thought "I can." Write down those "I can" statements, and restate them every day. You will program your being to manifest those thoughts in your life.
4. Decide what you want, and choose to take action.
Identify just one thing you can do today for each change you desire. Prioritize those things and create one action step for each change. It can be a very small step, but one small, passionate step every day will create exciting new paths in your life. The key is taking the step!
5. Commit at least one act of kindness to yourself.
Your loving kindness to yourself is the fuel in your life. Identify one way you can be kind to yourself today, and do it! Make the time to be your best and most loving partner in your life.
6. Meditate your way to makeover your life.
Find a meditation or guided visualization that helps you create the space to deeply connect to all that is within you in order to makeover all that is around you. We each have the power within us to create the life we desire around us. The first step is choosing to create just 30 minutes a day to tap into that power, and then unleash it into your life to become your greatest self!
To get you started, go to www.ChangeYourShoesNow.com and sign up to receive a complementary four-session "Meditation Makeover."
For more by Kathy Andersen, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.