They say a change is as good as a rest, it seems ‘they’ might be on to something. Each time I return from a holiday I am more motivated and bursting with ideas for change, this occasion is no different. Having just returned from an incredible European adventure I have been influenced once again to make some big shifts in both my professional and personal life.
As for the professional – time will tell. I believe you will all be pleased with the inspired upgrades that are coming your way – watch this space!
Today I would like to share with you the personal insights that made this trip a life changing one for me.
Over achieving, over committing, over thinking, over training, over reacting and overdoing life in general are things we too commonly do in our day-to-day life here in Sydney. This trip made it painfully obvious I am a prime example of all of the above.
Just 3.5 weeks ago (and for several years prior), on a daily basis I would find myself planning every last detail of every last minute of every single day; days and weeks in advance. I’d plan the time I’d wake up, the time I’d train the time I’d shower, the time and what I’d eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’d plan everything so much I would lose sleep thinking about my scheduled day ahead – did I have it right?? Would I fit enough in if I did it that way?? And if my days didn’t run exactly to my tight schedule, I would berate myself and often take it out on those around me (namely my long suffering man – eek). This planning might not sound too unusual to you, because to a degree it’s not. In fact, it is great to be planned and I often help my clients plan elements of their life to keep them on track with their goals – it works wonders for them.
For me, the emphasis I was putting on these plans and the pressure to ‘get it right’ was causing me to be on constant high alert. When you put yourself under any form of stress whether it be running from danger or dramatizing simple plans, your cortisol increases keeping in fight or flight mode – read strung out stress head. When combined with overtraining (another classic trait of mine) which increases your level of testosterone moving you from your feminine to your masculine – read angry adrenaline junky, it does not make for a great combo. Just ask the aforementioned long-suffering man of mine.
Now, imagine the exact opposite of this of this ‘over’ everything mentality and that is where I was transported to on this trip. Both Italy and Greece are the polar opposite of the stressed, over-doing city described above.
At first I found this incredibly frustrating; seriously how long does it take to bring a bottle of water to the table?? But after a few days and a few tense moments I fell well and truly in love. Head over heals in love with this relaxed, calm, riding of the wave of life mentality. I didn’t feel compelled to jump out of bed, do some exercise and make it out to breakfast all before 8am. In fact, I didn’t feel the need to jump out of bed at all. I didn’t set alarms; I listened to my body and followed its rhythms. I ate when I was hungry, I gently exercised with swimming, yoga and long walks when my body felt it needed some movement and I took rest when I felt I needed to rest. For the most part I felt truly at one with my body; something I haven’t felt in an extremely long time.
Those of you who follow me are aware I have struggled with some health issues recently and if you would’ve told me just 4 weeks ago I would feel calm and content in my own skin I would’ve laughed in your face. However, I did and my body rewarded me for listening to it and showing it love.
Despite feeling this way, on my arrival back in Sydney I immediately found myself planning again. Scheduling gym classes, writing lists of overwhelming magnitude, planning, planning; planning for each moment of each day just as I had in the past. As I did so I immediately felt the familiar rise of anxiety in my chest, that surge of cortisol and that feeling of overwhelm.
It was at this moment I realised: at different times in our lives different strategies work for us. For a long time planning my life to the millisecond has worked for me, but this strategy is no longer serving me.
It has taken one incredible rest for me to realise that it’s most definitely time for a change. It’s time for me to start ridin’ that rhythm of life a lil’ more, minus the rigidity. And I am excited for this new chapter to begin.
What is right for your body and mind right now?