Sometimes when I sit down to write a new blog entry to share with you, I find myself in a space where I am writing about exactly what I need. And the experience becomes about sharing not what I know, but what I am learning.
Today, I have been thinking about how much I have been RUNNING – running and pushing through all of 2012 … the entire year!
I appreciate my ability to run so much, as it allows me to reach my goals. (It is how I was able to reach my goal of putting out the Spirit of Oya CD.) But there are times that every marathon runner reaches his/her goal and needs to really celebrate!
“What?” you might ask. “Celebrate? What is that?” If you reacted that way, that is a problem. But, many times, we all get in the habit of putting out project after project and just moving onto the next thing without even taking a breath.
I have been in three conversations recently that all had to do with the concept of taking a break, vacation, slowing down and just stopping. I certainly admire those who have the drive to keep going … but we have to be careful, because there is a fine line between having a tireless drive to accomplish things and running yourself ragged. I know so many people who are afraid to stop, because they feel that if they stop, the world as they know it will fall apart, or that someone else will take their place. These people come to believe that there is never time for a break.
I really understand that feeling. But when your labors of love start to turn into chores, and you become tired, taking just a few days off to relax, recharge and celebrate the wonderful work you have done can be very beneficial. Sometimes you can be so in the thick of everything that you might get stuck on questions that arise during a project. And you have to step away, take a break and then come back to give yourself some space so the answers will become clear.
Other times, when you finish a project, taking a moment to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge your good work is simply good for the soul. Because, if we just keep working, what does it all mean? Why are we even working? What is the reward? We need to take time to feel and really enjoy that moment of accomplishment.
Of course, I know sometimes we have to “get it while it’s hot.” I understand the “get it while it’s hot” mentality very well, and I often subscribe to it. However, even as you adopt this mentality, you need to take some time for yourself each month, quarter or year.
Now, focusing on yourself in this way can get tricky when you do what you love. For example, I often ask myself, “Why would I want to step away from my musical and artistic labors of love? Why would I want to get off the stage?” Well, this feeling of loving what I do actually helps keep me energized while I am enjoying time off. I get to bask in a weekend of relaxation, look at delicious food coming out, the beautiful resort, or feel the healing hands of a masseuse knowing what I do for a living is paying for all of it. I don’t ever want my “work,” or my “labors of love” to be a chore, or an exhausting, depleting job. Every time I walk on the stage, it is my intention to be fully charged, to give my audience my very best self … and how could I do this if I was tired or run down?
So, I think a big lesson I have learned is, do not exhaust yourself so much that you cannot do what you love doing. HERE is your place to do what you do. And we can all look at our schedules and find a little “me” time to keep us well and energized, so our work will shine bright. We all must take care of our bodies – our temples, which allow us to physically get out there and create beauty.
I want to ask you an important question: Do you ever feel mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally drained and closed in within your environment? Whether you love your job, or you don’t, sometimes a little getaway is what you need. And sometimes taking a “getaway” doesn’t even mean going anywhere at all. A getaway can be as simple as staying home and relaxing with your ringer and your computer turned off. In our connected society, this might sound crazy, but you can do it! Or, you can take a spa day or a beautiful drive up the coast.
The main point I want to stress is, a little R&R of the soul is GOOD for you. Having a clear mind, a healthy body and an aligned spirit will give you a free, beautiful, emotional flow. And breathing in a beautiful environment will allow you to start running again with a refreshed mind and strong body.
Also – and this is often hard for us to admit – it feels really GOOD to be acknowledged. We all like to be acknowledged, and because we know this, we often sing others’ praises, but when it comes to our own accomplishments, we overlook all we have achieved. And this makes us feel unacknowledged and underappreciated. We just keep working and fail to celebrate what we have done.
With that being said, I want to joyfully give you permission to plan a getaway party for YOU. Because, YOU are worth it, and YOU deserve it.
So, take a day, a long weekend, a week … or even a month to celebrate living your dream!