Balancing Work and Play Over the Summer: Who Do You Want To Be In September?

childMP900314393[1]One of my goals is to share more of my story. I long to, as cherished and recently departed Maya Angelou put it, "... write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."

Stories help us connect with others - and they help us learn. We learn from other people's successes and mistakes. And when someone stands up and shows who they are, we recognize ourselves and also recognize what we are NOT, so stories help people understand who they are too.

Which leads me to... In the summer I usually battle with myself. Like you, I want to serve others - and I also desperately want and need to enjoy the summer and relax. It should be easy, to just say, "I'm taking it easy", but there always seems to be something that needs doing. It's like I've given myself a motivational carrot (or bone!) but keep putting it just out of reach.

I know it's not just me. We all work so hard running our businesses, helping and serving others - and all too often we simply don't take enough care of our 'selves'. Why is it so hard to let go? We KNOW as coaches that we need to take care of ourselves - the famous "oxygen mask principle". And yet we're not always so good at doing it. For me, work has been my "go to" activity to keep my inner critic at bay - a way of proving that I am not the lazy, worthless being my inner critic believes me to be.

And so while meditating I asked myself some questions: "What stops me from letting go of my work over the summer?" (I'm afraid I will lose clients), "How can I have more time for myself?" (by asking myself this question every morning after meditating and both listening and acting on the answer!) and finally, "What is the ONE thing that is stopping me from relaxing?" (feeling like I HAVE to write an article and newsletter EVERY week!!!).

And in my coaching session with my awesome coach Mary Johnson we explored this further - talking about listening to our own inner wisdom, and honouring and giving our "self" permission to do what it needs to thrive.

What about you? Are you relaxed, feeling a sense of calm and ease? Some questions for you:

  • What stops you from enjoying the summer?
  • How can you have more time for yourself?
  • What is the ONE thing that's stopping you from relaxing?
  • What do you need to do differently for your 'self' to thrive?

Now maybe this doesn't resonate with you. Maybe you're brimming with energy and you're going to use the summer to get stuff done. Or maybe you've decided you're going to give yourself a (healthy) kick in the pants and complete that project... Only you know the answer to that!

But my answers to these questions led me to a decision: I gave myself permission to take the month of August off. I'm sure I'll do quite a few things here and there - but the key thing is I've decided to remove all SHOULDS and MUSTS.

I'm wondering:

  • What are your "Shoulds" and "Musts"?
  • What do you need to do to honour your 'self'?
  • What do you need to give yourself permission for? (remembering this could be permission to do - or NOT do something!)

And I won't just be recharging my batteries, I'll also be working on myself. Who do I want to be? What transformation am I hoping will take place over the next month or so? Because as long as I keep myself busy, I don't get to try new ways of being. In fact calm, non-busy IS a new way of being for me! I want to bring a sense of ease into my working life once September rolls around.

"The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind; the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one."
Wallace D. Wattles

So, thinking ahead to September, some questions for you:

  • Who do you want to be? I want to be someone who is... (use as a journaling prompt or make a list)
  • What do I need to let go of to be that person?
  • What do I need to step up - and step into - to be that person?
    And finally
  • What would it take for you to come home to your 'self'?

Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could all return to our businesses in September, refreshed AND with a new way of "being" to explore!

I wish you a wonderful summer (or winter break if you're in the southern hemisphere).

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