Reassign Time

What are you going to do today to make yourself better? 

I stole the weekend. I moved my clients around, I adjusted my schedule, I threw down some money and ultimately actually gave my weekend away–to myself. I spent Saturday and Sunday at a writer’s retreat. I made the decision, followed the necessary steps to make it happen, cleared my schedule and spent an incredible weekend surrounded by smart, talented and interesting women.

There is always room for improvement within ourselves. There will always be a desire to do more and be more and learn more. The question is HOW do we do this? And how do we do this with out feeling guilty. It’s an internal choice we have to make, most of deep down we can spare a few minutes here an there, right?

I want you to decide to take back 15 minutes a day. No, no, no. Not all at once, spread it out.

5 minutes at a time. At home, you may have kids buzzing around, a spouse that isn’t helping to pack lunches or clean the kitchen, you may feel like 5 minutes just won’t happen. Make it happen. Spend five more minutes in the shower and meditate, take your coffee for a walk around the block. Instead of instantly opening emails, open a word document or grab a notebook. 5 minutes.

You can apply this at work too. Spend a few minutes stretching at your desk. This is will do wonders for your neck, back and stress levels–I promise. Once you start finding a few minutes here and there, you can start expanding that time. Figure out what you want to do with these new found moments. 

Here’s a secret: you’re not actually stealing them, you’re reassigning them to yourself. And if you start to feel guilty about this, don’t. Because you are bettering yourself. You are committing to yourself. You are making yourself in every single aspect of your life: home, parent, partner, employee. A happier you means everyone gets to reap the benefits.

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Give this a try and let me know how it goes! Or email me and ask for some tips for your particular situation–I want to help!

 

 

Keep Your Lady Balls In Check

My bed has sucked my morning mojo out of me. My OkCupid profile claims that I’m an extreme morning person, I’ve always said I’d rather wake at 5am rather than stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I love enjoying a cup of coffee or tea alone with a book, my journal or my computer. I love the alone time of the early AM and savor every minute I’m up before my roommates are. But since I bought the bed that I wanted, the firm mattress my back craves, the cozy down comforter I stole from my mother’s house when I moved, the pillows that support my neck just right–I have a really hard time getting up. The bed swallows me up and hugs me tight so I am unable to leave when, in the past, I would normally wake.
Things I enjoy doing in the morning: running, reading, writing, researching, cooking, journaling… my basic brain function is best between the hours of 6am and about 2pm. After that I can’t promise my best self, my best attitude, or my best effort to care about anything. So in an effort to be a better human being I’m trying to get up earlier again.
Yesterday the alarm went off at 5:16, yes, a Sunday alarm set for 5:16. By 5:42 I had laced my running shoes, buddled up as much as possible and set off to run five miles before the sun was set to rise at 6:49am. I’m determined to run all winter long and train for a January half-marathon. In college I did, why not now? So Sunday morning was to prove to myself that I still have the lady balls to get out there and log the miles–no matter how far below freezing Chicago gets!
The still morning reminded me how quiet the streets of Thailand were when I began my training there. However the temperature difference, the idea of quiet alone time was still the same. Morning mediation on my feet. Discovering what the city looks like, smells like, feels like, early in the morning is something I’ve done every place I’ve lived and visited. This was a first for me in Chicago–I’ve walked the streets late at night after a night out with friends, exploring new bars, parks and taken bus rides to avoid the cold or heat. But nothing compares to being on foot, alone on streets you’ve walked or rode a bunch of times before the sun peaks above the skyline.
Everything looks different in the morning. Stores are asleep, coffee shops are just blinking an eye to be awake and get the day started–running past them shut down and dark the city looks so different, it looks at peace.
I am at peace when I’m out there. My run yesterday cleared my head for the day to come, set my schedule and tired my legs. At my turn around point there was a bank clock and thermometer that read “6:04am 14 degrees”. Now I KNOW I can run that far, in that cold, that early. Every time I do that I have mixed emotions; now I know I can do it, so that means I can’t wuss out–and now I have to one up myself, I have to go further, earlier and when it’s colder just to prove to myself I can.

This morning I wussed out so I could spend the early moments reading and writing. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day and winter is only getting colder.

Step Outside of Yourself.

My morning typically starts with coffee (let’s be honest, ALWAYS coffee,) my computer and  some sort of breakfast. I venture from my computer to a book or the gym, my yoga mat or the pool. Today I found my way to The Red Book and my journal. The chapter I just read is titled: Breaking the Rules: Healthy transgressions make the heavens applaud. Sera, the author…yes, we’re on a first name basis–talks about breaking out of the social norms in order to transgress, to change, to grow. Breaking social norms certainly is one way to mindfully mix up your life and move on and up, but breaking personal norms is too. I think, in many ways, probably more powerful.

She speaks of stepping outside of ourselves, outside of our normal habits and comfort zones and change it up a bit. Shutting off the TV and reading, drinking tea instead of coffee (no way, okay, maybe I’ll try it one day,) hitting on that dude at the bar, saying no when you are hit on by that other dude at the bar, quitting a kick-ass job that’s making you miserable. Ignoring that little voice inside of you that said “no” and scream “YES” back at it. Telling that voice to shut the eff up!

This morning I’ve been reflecting on my last few weeks. I’ve been scared and uncertain about my future. I told a friend of mine that I was “terrified” of an opportunity that is in front of me and he said, “Nope, no way, I don’t believe that YOU are scared.” I’m good at faking it, not so good at making it. I need to begin to see what others see in me. Another friend suggests I face my fear, challenge myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I need to get uncomfortable. My yoga instructors say “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Really–though, that’s the only way we can grow.

One of my goals is to silence my fearful voice that has gotten so loud in my head. I’m going to stop telling myself Well, Self, you failed at not stuffing french fries in your mouth yesterday, so obviously you’re going to fail today…where’s the ketchup? That voice is going to shut the eff up. It’s going start saying things like Look at you, you sexy woman! You CAN succeed, you CAN do this.

How are you going to change today? What are you going to do to move forward, grow, and improve?