Quite often we get lost in the shuffle and from experience we know that when we are too hard on ourselves or others it only makes us feel worse instead of motivating us to change. The motivation for change is quite simple, honor thyself. This concept is easy to read, easy to understand and it can be easy to practice.
1. Go back to the basics.
For me I had to remember what is most important, which include my health and happiness, strong relationships with my family, friends, co-workers, personal communities and a sense of purpose.
2. Commit to only those things that are important to you and serve your purpose right now.
For me this meant clearing my calendar so that I did not feel like I had to schedule spending time with my family or rearrange my calendar to be able to go to dinner with some friends. I had to consciously make time each day to relax, whether that meant doing my own yoga practice, taking moments of silence to quiet my mind or reconnecting with a family member or close friend to hear about their lives. My purpose is to help others achieve optimal health through positive lifestyle and behavioral changes, so I constantly remind myself that my actions are the strongest support for this purpose. My own optimal health is maintaining a balance between work and fun, feeling strong and capable and always willing to grow and change.
3. Express gratitude for the small stuff.
You have heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Well, I started paying close attention to it. The small things helped re-direct the day and reminded me that some things do go right. I often felt grateful for the seat warmer in my car, or for getting all green lights on the way into my office. I remember feeling grateful for a song that came on the radio at just the right time. Soon I started noticing more things to be grateful for, and this was something that helped me relax and recharge.
4. Give yourself permission to relax, say no, have fun and take some alone time.
There are still days when my schedule feels more like a vortex than a linear progression of time. The only way that I found to stop this perpetual motion is to just say no. So far, no one has died because the last thing on my to-do list did not get crossed off or the dishes did not get washed. The free time I gained from saying no or not doing the dishes was sometimes just what I needed to have some much needed fun, take a bath, take time to remember what is most important to me on that day or do something nice for someone else (because seeing their gratitude made me feel even more grateful for all that I have and all that I can give).
5. Honor and accept others where they are.
Most people want to be accepted not fixed. It took me a long time to awaken to my own purpose and realize what is important to me and to accept myself as I am (this is an ongoing process). Everyone will awaken to their own needs, their own purpose and their own lifestyle in their own time. It was such a huge relief to realize that it is not my responsibility to show someone how to live, but rather it is my privilege to learn how they live and love them for it anyway.