How to Put Yourself First without Guilt

by | 19 Jan 2015 | Business news, Happiness

If you’d asked me last November what my personal predictions and hopes for 2015 were, I think I would have said that this is the year I’m going to take my business to the next level, reaping the rewards of some of the things I’ve invested in during 2014.

Now, however, after a period of reflection over Christmas and New Year, my answer is somewhat different.

It feels a turbulent and unsettled period for me right now – I feel like I’ve a lot of ‘stuff’ shifting, moving, with many different layers. It’s quite hard work, but not unpleasant, and I have an over-riding sense of possibility.

How I am feeling seems to depend entirely on where I place my focus – I can access a dark, depressed state, a serene and centred place, a happy, grateful and excited place, seemingly all at the same time and it’s leaving me a little confused, but also forcing me to let go and trust.

There’s nothing to be ‘done’, I just have to ride it.

Within this confusing turbulence, what has become crystal clear is that to ride this out, I want to look after ‘me’ first, not get caught in task or the ‘it’. And where this feels different is in the past I may used this to avoid, to stay small and safe. But now it feels clear that if I want to reach bigger, further, higher, I want a strong healthy ‘base’ from which to do it and I don’t feel I have that yet, given everything that’s happened over the last two years.

Compared to my health, the business just isn’t that important!

So, I’ve let go of all kinds of ‘busy-ness’, and kept work on the business down to the minimum too.

Instead I’m concentrating on forming several new ‘tiny’ habits and a couple of bigger ones. The most notable of these is 10 mins meditation each day, which I’ve now managed for 10 days straight.

Other habits I’m working to establish are around nutrition and movement. I’ve a long, long way to go before my health, fitness and ‘centredness’ reach the levels I’d like, but that’s ok – I feel settled for a long and sometimes plodding journey.

It’s the practise I’m trying to establish. I’m not looking for a quick result (or a sense of failure from not meeting over-inflated expectations). And I’m also clear I don’t have to be ultra-fit and healthy before I start any other developments.

This isn’t placing one of those conditional rules to constrain me (“I can’t do x, until I have y). This is preparation and resourcing, and it’s also listening to myself and my own natural ‘cycles’.

I feel like my tide has turned; having been more in flow since the One Retreat and through Mum’s illness and death, I now feel the ebb.

I’m drawing back inwards, slower, richer, less breadth, more depth. Less of lots of things! It’s a regrouping, a drawing breath, shedding of baggage, realigning. Identity is shifting, and with it some of the need to please, be nice, follow the opinion or lead of others and instead be my own person. It’s a harder place, less comfortable, but feels like a relief from a burden long carried.

I know the tide will turn again, and my attention will then turn back outwards, to building the business, creating new opportunities, forging new bonds and friendships.

But for now it’s ok to look in, be ‘selfish’ and put my own well-being at the core of what I do.


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