Self-care is a personal responsibility. If we are unintentional about placing ourselves at the top of the list it is easy to find ourselves pouring out of an empty cup. Taking care of our personal wellness becomes even more critical as we elevate in our individual spheres of influence. Reigning can be draining the moment you begin complaining rather than thanking.
One of my top priorities is to seek daily grains of gratitude in which I can express appreciation. It is easy to focus on the frustrations of life yet it takes deliberate effort to direct our thoughts towards all that which is good, lovely and precious. Recently, while running errands a white delivery truck almost side swiped me off the road. I must have been in his blind spot. My heart was in my throat and I spent the rest of the day filled with gratitude that I was left unharmed. That sudden encounter could have had a very different outcome.
Typically, early in the morning I check in with myself with through reading, journaling, meditation, with instrumental dream radio on Pandora. I’m usually awake between 3–6 a.m. to have my personal quiet time before the phone starts ringing, emails begin to fill my inbox and requests for my time arise. Daily reflection reminds me that it is the in between moments of a busy life that matter most. If I didn’t take time to slow down I might overlook the beautiful surprises hidden in every waking minute. The way I see it, my best thoughts reside in the earliest parts a few hours before sunrise.
I often workout with my husband before 8:00 a.m. I definitely notice a difference in my energy levels if I neglect my self-care routine as it feels as if my day is running me and not the other way around. It is important to incorporate movement into my day because as a thought leader a massive part of my energy and time is spent in books researching or at the computer typing. When I need to clear my head of accumulated thoughts one of my favorite places to detox my mind is the local park. This is a very cleansing space to immerse myself in. I always leave refreshed and internally renewed. Ambitious individuals often overlook this area as deadlines are ever present yet the undeniable benefits of having a strong mind, body and spirit make it well worth the investment!
Currently, I have twelve vision boards on my wall which I began creating two years ago right before being terminated from my last position. We all have old stories that we rehearse in our minds and in order to disrupt those unproductive thoughts we have to establish new paradigms. These vision boards are a constant reminder of the limitless possibilities within reach. We each possess the power to live by design and not default. Life is filled with ups and downs, twists and turns quite identical to a roller coaster ride. I gain inner strength from each one of them because they represent my heart speaking back to my mind. We must be the head cheerleader of our own life. Aldous Huxley said, “There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self.” If you aren’t excited about your own world how can you expect to inspire anyone else? The beauty of a vision allows you to transform from being bland to living GRAND!
Early in my entrepreneurial pursuits this area of wellness fell by the wayside as I was in a season of survival constantly seeking to keep my head above water. I now meet with women close to my heart on a regular basis for what I call friendship therapy. It really does take a village to reach unprecedented heights of achievement. Friends provide a safe haven of rest where we can unload the cares of life and be completely transparent. No capes allowed. In my motivational mini videos, I usually open with, “Hey, Hey, Hey! It’s a good day for a great day!” One afternoon a friend and I were communicating via text and I shared with her that I was battling a headache with a full plate that day. Her response was priceless, “It’s a good day for a great day.” It has been said, “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words.”
Breath of Life:
There are days when I find myself completely out of alignment due to the demands of life and I press the pause button. For many years I was subjected to toxic work environments and the chronic stress would often result in hives all over my body. When I sense anxiety being triggered, I take time to breathe deeply. “Your breathing is your great friend, return to it and in all your troubles you will find comfort and guidance.”-unknown
When I sit in silence reviewing my vision boards that lists my daily disciplines: physical fitness activity, quality time with husband, meditation/prayer, reading/writing, investing in others, self-care, speaking affirmations and healthy eating. Immediately, I am able to identify one of the reasons I am feeling internally imbalanced. A fulfilled life is the direct result of nurturing all that fulfills our souls from the inside.
Ask yourself this question every morning, “How can I celebrate the wonderful gift each moment will bring?” Wake with the intention to WIN and make the rest of your days the BEST of your days!
Originally published at medium.com