Five core practices have been trans-formative for me, supporting me to return to a place of connection with myself, energy, and in control of my outcomes.
What I’ve also learnt is that every one of us will have a different practice that works for us, and that’s okay. It’s about trying a few on and seeing which has the best fit just for you.
These practices naturally follow what I shared in last week’s Blog post (See link here) and the art of learning to say No in order to get back your control.
Absolutely anything that supports me to be still. I’ve found immense value in learning how to lie on the ground (in yoga we call it savasana or corpse pose), settling my body and mind. There are many ways to do this that don’t have to start with hours and hours on a meditation cushion. Start small. It’s about creating new habits. Maybe it’s restorative yoga, meditation, or massage. Maybe it’s three deep breaths in between your daily meetings. You’ll know what feels relieving for you.
2) Imperfection is bliss.
I remember my sister challenging my perception of reality during my 6-week ‘sabbatical’. She said my 100% effort is everyone else’s 200%. i.e. If I were to ‘not perform’ so highly at work (put in 70%) I’d still be over-achieving. This stuck with me big time and I’ve adopted more of an ‘imperfection’ rule ever since. Maybe it’s about clicking send on emails before triple-checking the wording; or giving yourself a time-limit before finishing your final edits. You’ll get heaps more done, save time and realise there’s not such thing as perfect anyhow. The question “What’s the worst that could happen?” is ideal for challenging perceptions.
3) Me Time.
This is HUGE. One of the very first practices I put into place was literally blocking out non-negotiable ‘Me Time’ in my diary. i.e. Book YOU in to your life first. This is non-work and non-social time. It felt pretty uncomfortable for me at first. I felt bored, got restless, or felt awkward, like everyone was watching me if I was out at a café alone. And then something clicked—everyone else is too busy with their own self-consciousness to care and when you’re on your own you get to make all the decisions! So much fun! For me this has been two-fold. I put coffee dates in my diary most mornings, where I sit and journal or set intentions for the day. And then I usually have one evening a week (when my partner is out the house playing sport) that is reserved for whatever I’m in the mood for—usually indulgent TV, learning, reading, bath, and a super easy dinner (eggs on toast!).
4) Feel the fear.
You’re reading this blog so chances are you read other self-growth ‘stuff’ and you’re familiar with the F word: Fear. The biggest shake-up for me has been to check in every time I feel a bit frozen, uncomfortable or nervous and reference it to something I’ve done previously that was actually scary in my life. For example, I really don’t like heights. I get shaky, my heart starts thumping and I completely freeze up. Years ago (just before my ‘sabbatical’) I did a high-ropes course where you had to climb up a (very high!!) tree and literally just jump off a ledge—trusting the harness to catch you. Let’s just say there were tears. And swearing. But, I DID IT!!! And the feelings passed. And I survived to tell the tale. Now every time I feel ‘scared’ about doing something (like saying No to someone) I literally refer back to the ledge and bring up how it felt for me. With that reference point and knowing I can handle it, anything feels possible.
5) Practice, practice, practice.
Yes, I realise this sounds simple and has been said before. That’s because it actually works. Find ways to practice saying No. Maybe take on one ‘No’ a day. Then up it to all the social stuff at work, or the dinner you really don’t feel like cooking at home, or (not) calling that friend because you feel guilty. Or practice saying out loud the reason why you’re saying No. No thank you, I won’t be making that event because … I need some down time on the couch … I’m feeling weary and need to recharge.
This is about muscle building. Strength will multiply much faster the more you work it. It’s not that fear is totally disappearing it’s just that the strength of your courage is expanding. So the fear feels less obstructive. I also worked on my boundaries and what rules worked best for me (for example I like to be in bed early during the week so say No to anything that finishes too late!).
Share this post with a friend today and help each other develop these practices in your lives to bring more connection and calm.