You’re finally ready to start fixing some broken pattern in your life, and it’s as if the Universe says, “Oh, yeah? Are you sure you’re ready? Prove it!”
That’s exactly what happened to me last week.
I’ve been fed up with feeling drained and exhausted and thick-headed so much of the time, and when I discovered that there might be a name for what I was experiencing — adrenal fatigue — and a path back to my fully energetic self, I was finally ready to make some much-needed shifts.
In addition to eliminating foods I’ve tested sensitive to (amaranth, kidney beans, all cruciferous veggies, eggs, wheat, yeast) and kicking my coffee-as-migraine-miracle-drug habit (coffee being a killer on the adrenals), I looked at my rushrushrush, workaholic tendencies, and committed to making the following changes to my lifestyle:
- Getting myself to bed earlier (Even earlier than in my Great Bedtime Experiment! Target: in bed by 10:00pm and on my way toward sleep by 10:30pm)
- Shutting off the computer by 8:00pm
- Slowing down and planning ahead, so I’m not always cramming in “just one more thing”… and then running late and rushing as a result
The first few days were surprisingly easy. It felt great to be treating myself so much better, and I was sleeping better — and feeling more rested from my sleep — than I had in recent memory.
Then the test came.
Weekend after next I’m speaking at Patti Digh’s Design Your Life Camp in Buford, Georgia. As a Spark! Session presenter, I have seven minutes and 28 slides to share my message (title: 10 Rules that Kickstarted My Creativity (with Ukulele)), and the PowerPoint was due at 2:00pm PT last Friday.
I’d asked for an extension, but was denied, so 2:00pm Friday was a hard deadline.
That deadline was just enough to throw off the delicate balance of my filled-to-the-gills workload, and all my good intentions came crashing down.
Shutting down the computer by 8:00pm? Getting to bed by 10:00 — or even 10:00ish? Even 11:00ish? Even 12:00ish??
Um, yeah, not so much.
It was like a second blooming for all my old, workaholic tendencies. Even getting myself to yoga on time was a joke, as I found myself falling into old patterns and racing to the studio in a mad dash.
An Excuse, or an Opportunity?
One of my favorite sayings is:
The most important practice is just getting back on the wagon. (Click to tweet this!)
As it happens, that saying is part of my Spark! Session. As I also say in my presentation:
Self-awareness + self-compassion = the key to everything good. (Click to tweet this!)
So I took a page from my own book, and reminded myself that I’m human. I’m going to stumble. Rewiring new habits is not going to happen overnight.
Rather than flagellating myself, or giving up, or both, I followed my Golden Formula; I gave myself a big hug and climbed back up on the wagon.
It was remarkably easy.
Not that fixing my un-useful habits was easy — that part’s hard. No doubt this is the work of a lifetime.
But climbing back on the wagon, when you treat yourself with love and kindness, feels, well, easy!
No big deal. No need to lament and lambaste. Just take a fresh start.
You always get to take a fresh start.
Try it. You might like it.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!