Yesterday I spoke on the phone with my friend Kate. It had been a while since we caught up and she asked about my progress in trying to become more balanced. I felt a little sheepish telling her that I was trying to meditate and do yoga every day. (These are big steps for me whereas she's been practicing for many years already.) But she applauded me and I felt good about it. (Thanks, Kate!)
I looked up the list of goals I made in January and they included: physical health, dress, spiritual health, mental health, and facing fear. I just thought I'd give a little progress report here, too...
Physical health: I stopped eating sugar and bad carbs, replacing with artificial sweeteners, fruits and veggies and whole grains. I also started going on walks every day and practicing yoga (I'm still stinky at it though...not very flexible). I've lost 20 pounds and don't feel nauseous from hypoglycemia anymore. (A big plus!)
Dress: I now change out of my pajamas or work out clothes and put on clothes that make me feel good every day. I've narrowed down my clothes to only those I really like and it's not a problem finding something to wear. This makes me feel like my work is important (and I'm not caught off-guard if a client pops in).
Spiritual health: I meditate most days. My attention is not very good, but I'm working at it. Keep returning to the breath. I also found a church that I feel comfortable at, and look forward to it on Sundays. I have yet to make a friend there, but we'll see.
Also, I've started finding music that makes me happy. I've never been good at seeking out music, usually leaving it to my husband or musical friends to show me new things. But I've downloaded a playlist of music that makes me bob my head (good painting music!).
Mental health: This kind of goes along with spiritual health for me... but I've started reading more books on compassion and centering. Now when I feel myself start to get impatient or angry, I have mental notes to fall back on. Things that are tried and true... I have noticed that I'm less angry overall, but I feel like I'm on the tip of the iceberg as far as conquering it. But still, progress is progress, right?
Also, I take mini-vacations... almost every afternoon I sit back with a glass of iced chai and a chocolate granola bar (south beach, of course!) and I really enjoy it. No distraction because of doing other things. No email. Just enjoying the moment. I also feel less guilty if I get out of the studio to read outside for an hour. Refueling is so necessary.
My mental health is also helped by the fact that it's now spring and the sun is out more often...but of course, I can't take credit for that.
Facing fear: I was afraid of public speaking, and I did it anyway. I spoke to a group of 100+ college students and their professors and actually enjoyed it.
I was afraid of talking on the phone (I'm not kidding), but I did a podcast over the phone and didn't fail. I've also learned that I do better if I sit in a chair with nothing in front of me when I talked on the phone...that way nothing distracts me, and I visualize the other person sitting there. Makes for better conversation. I am now much more comfortable talking to clients on the phone (a good thing when you're doing it all the time!). Also, my rep calls me daily and I've gotten more comfortable with chatting on the phone because of just practicing. :)
So yes, I am a little more balanced these days. I feel like I am a work in progress, maintaining and growing these seeds I've planted. There is still a lot more to address, but it feels good to take care of myself in the small ways that I am now. I feel calmer in my handling of things. Trusting myself just a little more...
Right now, the windows are open, ocean incense is filling the air, a handful of jobs are in the works, and I just came in from a walk. I'm not stressed. I'm happy.