It happened. The moment when I realized that I had left part of myself behind. Well, actually I left my suitcase behind but it metaphorically slapped me in the face. I had packed all the stuff I needed to deliver my work yet did not bring any of the things I needed for myself. Wham!!
I’ve been going hard lately. Since September, consistently. I’ve been so focused on being in service of my clients and doing the work I love that I completely left myself behind.
I’ve been pivoting from one engagement to another. My productivity has been really high. I’ve had some extraordinary experiences to dance with different leaders, teams and work partners. It’s been creative. And, it’s been a lot.
My gas tank got depleted. I have been tired. You know, the weepy kind of tired. My beloved partner in life has seen the rawness of the impact as many conversations with him resulted with me in tears saying, “I’m so, so tired”. Thanks for persistently loving me and standing with me Pete.
So, back to the suitcase moment. Instead of freaking out about leaving it behind, I was overcome with a feeling of extreme calm. It was like a jolt of awareness. I knew this was a moment of waking up to the reality I was living. It was time to take stock and focus on tending to what I need to be whole and centred.
As I went on my mission to find what I needed, some of my desires were revealed to me. I chose a few basic clothes to wrap myself in. Interestingly enough, I chose bright clothes and a gorgeous scarf with peacock colours. Clothes that were comfortable and had flow. They are simple. My suitcase became a shopping bag from Winners. Functional. Easy.
So, on this business trip that is about service to clients, I have found a way of getting back into service of myself. My mind is percolating on my 2018 theme. It will be a year of leaning into Connectedness. The focus will be on getting reconnected to my body and my spirit. My mind is very alive all of the time. It’s time to gift myself with practices that will ground and sustain my physical and spiritual being.
I will focus on self-care, confidently knowing that doing so is one of the greatest ways I can be in service to those I love and those I work with. When I am whole-heartedly connected to my spirit and energy, I am so much more powerfully present in the world.
Some of the things I am exploring for my grounding, creative and movement practices of Connectedness in 2018 include:
· Work with a new coach who will lovingly kick my ass
· New boundaries regarding time
· New rigor in what I say yes and no to
· Tai chi – the gentle, flowing balancing movements intrigue me
· 10 day Vipassana retreat during my August sabbatical
· Body care -- working with a personal trainer to strengthen my body and improve my flexibility
· Continue the journey of eliminating sugar from my diet. No alcohol since 2015. No chai lattes since Oct of this year. I know I can do it.
· Pottery – the idea of getting my hands dirty for the sake of creativity is cool
· More soul filling nature infused quiet time and spaces
· Rejigging my business based on teachings in Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud
· Quality time with those I love. Time when I am energized and fun, so we can play, laugh and adventure together
If, over the next few months I say NO to you, please understand that I am in an immersive process of saying YES to me. It’s a necessary reset and one that I will savour. My next wave of service requires this very important personal commitment. I need to do this work to flourish in the present. I’ll also be packing for the future and this time I’m not going to leave myself behind.
Final Note – as I packed my car to move on to my next destination, the very first thing I packed were my personal items. I did this as a separate trip to the car knowing that what I needed was taken care of first. The rest of my work gear followed. No part of me was left behind.