About 6 months ago my life was feeling stale, I felt fear creeping in, and I was feeling a bit lost with the direction I wanted to go in (in all directions- family, work, happiness, etc), and harboring a lot of guilt.
I knew I needed to shuffle things around and toss out things/people that weren’t bringing positivity into my life. I also needed to redefine what happiness, success, family life and work meant to me. Not to anyone else, but to me. I was getting too wrapped up in seeing highlight reels of other entrepreneurs, new mommies with their 2 year old toddlers, and vacations of Santorini Sunsets that I was losing a sense of who I was.
I talked with my husband about it for what felt like weeks until I finally made a move. One thing I always tell my clients is that you are not “stuck”. Being stuck is a choice and you can do anything you want to move yourself out of that cement pile you put yourself in.
So, I hired a business/life coach.
Now you may be thinking… but don’t you coach people?
I know. Yes I do. But I know myself. I would do the work I needed, but I would never push myself as deep as I do with my clients- because I need accountability. I was not ready to face all the gunk I had to weave through and get rid of alone. However, I knew if I had outside support that was not connected personally to me, she could guide me in a direction I wouldn’t necessarily want to go in by myself. She would hold my hand, call me out on my BS, yet validate my very real feelings.
The largest gifts my life/business coach has given me is to be unapologetically myself and to only ever do something in my business if it brings me joy. She reminded me that my beliefs may be different from my relatives and friends- and that’s okay. She also redirected my thoughts to possibilities and opportunities instead of dead ends and old dreams. Lastly, it is more than okay to take time for yourself.
My coach's tag line is, "Play With The World". She is on a 365 day vacation traveling all over the globe. How inspiring, right? She only does something if it feels good to her on the deepest level. And yes, she carves out time to coach clients and write her book, but her main objective is to play.
After working with her and on myself for a while, something interesting started to happen to me. I became so much more relaxed- with everything.
I started to treat my life like I was actually on vacation, with a side serving of work and responsibilities.
It started small and then grew bigger. I took my own advice that I share with my clients- I use the stacking method. Don't change everything all at once as that becomes very daunting and unobtainable. Start small and when you are used to the shift in your life, stack on another action step that will help you change.
I looked at the food choices I was making daily. While I knew they were healthy for me and I added a dose of “treat yourself”, I was getting bored. I thought to myself, “how would I eat on vacation?”. When you’re in another state or even country, the markets offer different foods and selections. The food is more fresh, centered more around sea life, etc. I decided to choose completely different restaurants to eat at, different meats, and check out new cookbooks. My my has my tastebuds and mentality around food changed for the better!
On vacation I absolutely love to go on walks around local little towns or on the beach as the sun rises/sets. I also enjoy doing yoga right as the water creeps up and splashes gently on my feet near the ocean. I sat back and thought how I can incorporate nature and serenity more into my life. So now every Tuesday and Thursday when I am done with my client, I pass a park/farm on my way home. I pull over and treat myself to a hike- sometimes it’s more of a workout than others and sometimes I just sit on a bench. Afterwards I feel refreshed and so incredibly happy spending time in nature by myself I wonder why I stopped actively hiking (so much) in the first place.
On vacation I take time with my morning coffee and sit outside hearing the birds chirp, watching the locals begin their day and take in the fresh air. I decided to wake up ten minutes earlier each morning to enjoy my breakfast on my back porch in silence. There is nothing like hearing the birds sing on a beautiful morning to boost your mood. Plus, the phone does me no good when I wake up and start pumping my brain with every else's thoughts!
On vacation, I spend so much less time on technology and more time with my nose in a book or taking little cat naps in the sun. I vowed to myself that I will read more and scroll less. It made me realize how much I missed life without social media. I always felt guilty taking a break from the internet as that is how I get a lot of business. I am forcing myself to shake hands more and "thumbs up" less. And those cat naps? Power naps for my brain are gold. I am telling myself not to feel guilty lying down for 10 minutes if it recharges me in a good way.
On vacation I work less, worry less and spend more time with what is important- friends and family. I started to work in pockets of time and schedule my days so they are more productive instead of just “busy”. Then I block off a couple hours here and there each week where I can meet a friend for lunch or coffee. That has brightened my relationships and reduced my stress load of working non stop for the only reason of feeling like I worked ten hours. To prove to who? Just silly. And now when my husband comes home from work, I actually have energy saved to go for a walk with him, sit on the couch and have amazing conversations, or cook up a delicious dinner for us to indulge in.
On vacation I tend to talk to strangers more, turn on my friendlier side and ask questions. This is how you can make random connections that last for lifetimes, learn new quirky tidbits you may pull out of your back pocket in a game of Quizzo, or gain a nugget of information to enhance your life in some way. I told myself I would try new coffee shops, farmers markets and hidden book stores in my area- mostly to strike up a good conversation. Doylestown and New Hope have been my new go-to recently.
Lastly, on vacation I release the stresses of life/work after about the second day of being away. I notice the little things and enjoy the days more. I told myself that everything is figure-out-able, worrying does not solve anything and that I have never not “failed forward” in my life. I am choosing to be more grateful for the things I do have rather than being smug about the things I feel I don’t have. Focusing on “lack” creates resentment, guilt, anger and more lack. Focusing on appreciation creates more to appreciate and the perspective of all things half full. The universe is listening and always wants us to feel fulfilled, but it matches the energy we give out.
By making these little shifts, I can tell you that I am looking through rose colored glasses. I feel lighter, more curious about life and see more possibilities. It's refreshing and I am actually more productive. I have clarity and am getting motivated to try new things personally and in my business.
How can you integrate your love for vacations into your everyday life so you make a radical shift and become unstuck? Because let’s face it, we all love life on vacation!