No matter what you think of Amanda Palmer’s music, or even if you’ve never heard of her - I highly recommend taking 18 minutes out of your day to watch her TED talk.
She knows a thing or two about the power of community. Her talk is insipiring and deeply moving.
You know what else is moving?
I was really touched by all who reached out last week after I posted about being in hospital. The well wishes and offers of assistance were so beautiful and I’m so very grateful.
But this week I’ve been thinking…
I didn’t really take anyone up on their offer of help. To be honest, I didn’t really need much. (I’m fortunate to have a very caring and supportive partner). But also, what I did need, I didn’t really feel I COULD ask for.
It was the little things. Someone to do the dishes or take down the garbage. Especially so my partner could have a break. It seemed strange to me to say to someone “Sure, I’d love for you to come over and do a load of laundry”. But I also wondered, am I too proud to not receive help it when it’s offered?
My gorgeous friend Dani came over one afternoon to pamper me with chai, raw chocolate and an eco-friendly mani/pedi.
Before she arrived I found myself hobbling around trying to clean. Then I remembered, she’s my friend. She wasn’t going to care if there were dirty dishes in the sink, or if the house was untidy. Giving myself permission to allow things to be as they were - untidy, unkempt and imperfect - was such a relief.
Realising I needed to be comfortable with receiving nurturing was quite an eye opener.
And as always, my business and my life have become a mirror.
Self care is still something I let slide. I can easily get caught up in taking on too much or getting carried away with exciting work. I have a tendency to obsess over minutiae and can be a bit of a worry wart.
But during the goal setting session with Susana the other week, I chose two goals.
1. To create a thriving and creative coaching practice; and
2. To have self care as my #1 priority
Now, many people (myself included at times) would see those goals as mutually exclusive. A contradiction in terms.
Setting up a business is hard work. Isn’t it?
Going after your dreams, living a life of passion and purpose, being of service. These things all require sacrifice, effort, late nights, blood, sweat and tears. Don’t they?
Isn’t this what we’ve always been taught? That perseverance, sucking it up, and enduring is the only way to get what we want.
Bollocks to that!!!
I want to show myself that goals can be achieved with grace, nourishment and joy. And I want you guys to all do the same.
This is the difference between nose-to-the-grindstone-ego-driven-ambition and actualisation. Actualisation makes room for all the good stuff. It doesn’t ignore the body’s needs or the heart’s desires. It incorporates them beautifully.
Actualisation is the process of becoming more you. It’s full of self acceptance, humour, creativity and fellowship. In fact, actualisation is part of the meaning behind my dragonfly tattoo (you can see a photo of it here).
How much better does the power of actualisation over ambition sound? Let’s shed our hardened stories of aspirational suffering and embrace the concept of ease.
5 ways this could work
1. Focus on the Most Important Things (MIT)
For me, this is only doing what is necessary to launch my coaching practice and run my business. Everything else is white noise. The stream of social media, sweating the small stuff, obsessive planning - can all be released.
What are your MIT’s when it comes to living your dream?
2. Enjoy the ‘Slow down’
With a physical injury, I LITERALLY have to take the stairs one at a time. Sometimes it’s frustrating because I want to race down them. What a beautiful metaphor. Most days I feel like I’m racing from one thing to the next, never stopping to be present in what I’m doing, and often feeling like I’ve never done enough. When I’m working, I should be working out. When I’m resting, I should be writing. Et cetera. Et cetera.
Actually being ‘ok’ with the present moment, even during tedious or restful moments, makes it that much more enjoyable. Gently does it, comrade.
3. Trust the process
I can’t rush the healing process any more than I can rush the growth of my business.
Words cannot describe how much I love coaching. How much I enjoy witnessing the epiphanies, and the shift in perception. How much I love getting emails from you guys and connecting online. I want our tribe to expand and for so many people all around the world to begin the journey of self love.
This takes time, patience and trust. All I have to do is show up and do my best. The same applies to you. Where in your life can you allow your goal to develop and flourish without trying to push or force it?
4. Make space for your Self
What would happen if you gave the best of yourself, to you, first? - click to tweet
This has become my mantra. For this to happen, I need to make space for my coaching launch. So rather than creating new content for the blog in the next few weeks, I’ll be resurrecting some previous content (which you may not have seen if you’re new around these parts). I’m also looking at a few changes to the blog format going forward and making special content for my lovely email subscribers (make sure you’re on the list by signing up in the top right hand box!)
5. Ask for help
Aaaaaand we’ve come full circle!
Where do you need support in your life in order to reach your goals? Is it as simple as asking your partner to cook dinner for a week? Or hiring a babysitter once a month? Or do you need a compassionate and supportive coach (wink wink nudge nudge)? You don’t have to white-knuckle through it on your own.
So here’s my request for help.
I’d love help spreading the word about The Attitude Revolution. If you know someone who could use some more self love in their life, shoot them an email with the website link or suggest the Facebook page to them.
What about you comrade? Do you find the path of ease a foreign concept when it comes to achieving your goals? Do you think self care is selfish? What came up for you with the idea of putting your needs first? Share in the comments below…
PS - If you’re currently on the mailing list to receive these broadcasts and you’re interested in Attitude Coaching, make sure you sign up for those updates too. I’ll only be sending info (and special coaching bonuses) to people on that list so click here to get all the goss.