A couple weeks ago I came down with a violent 48 hour stomach bug. After my illness, as I slowly regained my strength, I continued to feel “off” for days afterwards. My mood and energy level were low, my joints felt stiff and I had lost my joie de vivre. As I stewed in this malaise, one day it hit me: I hadn’t been to yoga in over a week-duh! Yoga–more than just about anything–helps me recalibrate physically/emotionally, gain perspective, re-energize and find my center. I’ve been to yoga every day for the past three days and am happy to report I’m back in my groove and I feel great!
As a life balance coach/speaker, I regularly lead work/life effectiveness and self-renewal workshops for teams and organizations around the globe. When I teach about the life-changing practice of self-care (read more), I guide participants through an exercise where they examine the difference between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self-care. At the end of our conversation, I ask them “Which of the four areas is most calling for your attention?” And finally, “What action are you being called to take in this one area?” Every single time I ask this, people know exactly what they need to do to feel better. Whether it’s finding a walking buddy, getting off sugar or wheat, turning off our devices so we can get to bed at 9 p.m., launching a job search, seeing a marriage counselor, starting to meditate or asking for more help from our children or partners-– we know what action we need to take to feel good. It’s not about finding the right meditation guru, doctor or wellness expert (although support is definitely a good thing!); enhancing our well-being and knowing what action to take BEGINS with pausing, checking in and listening to our intuition–our Wise Self.
Recently at a self-renewal workshop I was leading, a women on the front row exclaimed in a frustrated tone, “This self-care stuff sounds well and good, but do you think my husband is going to just let me start taking walks in nature when I’ve got a household to run, kids to watch and meals to prepare?!” I could tell she was really struggling. I empathized and told her I understood. This new way of thinking requires us to go counter culture–but the question I always come back to is: How bad do you want to feel good? Often we have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired before we’re ready to make a change.
Do you believe you deserve to feel good *most* of the time? In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks challenges us to look at the upper limits we’ve set around “feeling good.” Sometimes we think feeling good is a fluke, we’re not worthy of feeling good or we’re so used to feeling bad out of habit, that feeling good seems too difficult to strive for or just plain unattainable. I remember a time when I used to think I only deserved to feel good about 50% of the time (I’m now up to 85% and still working on this!). What percentage of the time you believe you deserve to feel good?
My challenge to you this week: identify that *one thing* that makes you feel great (it can be something that enhances your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual well-being and it may be something you used to do that you let fall by the wayside). Then, I want you to DO THAT ONE THING EVERY DAY THIS WEEK. Even better if you can team up with a friend and each share what your “one thing” is and hold each other accountable for your self-care promise. You can do this. You deserve to feel good. Not just on occasion, but every day.
How bad do you want to feel good? Let me know how it goes.
TAKE ACTION: Ripe and ready to learn more about the life changing practice of self-care and and how it can help you feel good more of the time? Read Baby Steps to Self-Renewal and check out our upcoming events, including my brand new The Art of Self-Renewal: Self-Care Practices for Uncertain Times live telecourse. (Note: our events always sell-out, so it’s good to book in advance.)
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Offering custom self-renewal workshops/retreats, training, books/telecourses and individual career coaching her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining Personal Renewal Groups based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 13 year-old son. More on her background here.
Photo: My favorite veggie soup from Mr. Natural in Austin. Recently my body has been asking for a lot more vegetables and light soups; I responded, “Of course!”