This month as we transition from summer into fall, I’ve been reflecting on the nature of change. I love the experience of each season, and I’m always excited for the next phase on the turning of the wheel, and yet, there always seems to be some turbulence to navigate.
This brings to mind the concept of “Foundation.” Our foundation is constructed by the little things every day. It’s our thoughts, the words we speak, and the actions we take. It’s the story playing in our mind, and the habits carrying us through the day.
Strengthening our foundation isn’t a big life-makeover. It’s paying attention to the little things that bring us into balance, and bring peace and strength to our body and mind. When we pay attention to our foundation, and nurture it, we’re cultivating a strong baseline for life that will support us no matter how shaky life gets. Even if everything gets stripped away, we can come back to our foundation and re-build.
How do we cultivate our foundation?
1. The first step is to pay attention. Some good questions to reflect on are:
- What are the goals I have in life?
- What actions am I taking to support those goals?
- Which areas of my life are in need of more attention/energy?
- Am I putting my energy into something that isn’t in alignment with my goals?
2. Re-examine your relationship with self-care
I find “self-care” is a term that’s been watered down and often mis-understood. It’s not about indulgence and guilty pleasures, but rather it’s about taking responsibility for yourself, and making choices to truly help you thrive in life. When we take care of ourselves, we’re able to show up in the world in a much stronger and balanced way.
Dispelling 3 Self-Care Myths
- “Self-care is selfish” – Self care isn’t selfish! Taking care of your needs is your responsibility. If you don’t do it, no one else is going to do it for you.
- “Self-care is a luxury I can’t afford” – Self-care is taking the steps needed to build a strong foundation so you can thrive. It doesn’t have to cost money or a lot of time. It’s an awareness of your needs and making them a priority. When we prioritize other’s needs at our expense, we burn out. When you prioritize self-care, you show up in life stronger and more ready to serve those around you, and ultimately accomplish more.
- “There’s no time for self-care” – When we prioritize self-care, we’re more efficient and ready to take on the challenges of life. For example, I find starting the day with meditation (even just 15 minutes) helps everything flow smoother throughout the day. I’m more focused and on-task, my mind is clear, and my emotions are more balanced.
Check out this short article on “Re-Claiming Self Care“ for support in examining your relationship with self-care and practical tips for getting started in prioritizing the things that support your strong foundation.
3. Make space to truly enjoy life
Stop and smell the roses, express gratitude and love for the people in your life. Even when life is throwing us curveballs, if we can take a moment to connect to the miracle that we’re alive, we can re-frame toward gratitude for this adventurous life where every day is a mystery waiting to unfold. Ultimately it’s what we make of it. As one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver says, it’s up to us to choose what we want to do with this “one wild, and precious life.”
If you ask me, there’s no greater purpose to life than to seek out your joy, and when you find it, share as much of it as you can with everyone you meet!
Here’s wishing you a foundation built on your JOY!!