It is February 1st. It is the halfway point of Winter and a month after the New Year started. Many of us have forgotten, or never made New Years Resolutions. I for one don’t think I even made any this year. 2018 was a transition year for my family so I spent January relaxing and recovering. Our whole life is going through a remodel so it felt right to take a rest after the frenetic nature of 2018. I learned so much about myself in 2018 that I’ll have to write a separate post about it but for now I want to talk about 2019, what’s coming, and how you can design and create your own happy new year.Even though It’s already February I’m of the opinion that a “new year” can begin any time. I celebrate mine on my birthday for example. Don’t give ourself any grief if you lost motivation and just start again! #2019Let’sGo!
THE FOUR CORNERS OF HAPPINESS
The wisdom I’m about to share with you is something I’ve been crafting for a while. It came about after I simplified The Level 10 Life by Hal Elrond. He suggests to look at 10 areas of our life and measure them on a scale of 1-10 to see how we’re doing and think about how to make improvements. You can read about it in his book The Miracle Morning. When I reviewed the system I thought it was a good idea but it was a bit too micromanaged and a bit anxious trying to look at 10 areas of my life. I noticed that the 10 areas could be grouped into similar categories. From this I distilled it down to 4. Self, Home, Work, and Relationships. Simplifying it in this way made me feel more grounded and centered instead of being stretched into 10 directions at once! It was too much. Most of us can only concentrate on 2-3 projects at any one time outside of ourselves so 4 areas felt perfect. The other thing I didn’t do was judge how I was doing in each of the areas! We judge ourselves enough so I used the areas as a self reflection tool and a life management tool rolled into one.
When I became a full time stay at home Mom I went from a very random schedule to the most open schedule I’d ever had. Although with children, as soon as you find a routine with each other, they change it. Also very random but thankfully not so rigid as a work schedule that had to be worked around. I had to figure out from scratch how I wanted the house to be managed, how to take care of our kiddo and keep her entertained, and most importantly take care of myself. This tool came when I asked, “How can I make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks?” Intention. In order to create the life we want we need to set an intention for what we want it to look like, feel like take time to and review it, ideally everyday. This is an internal dialogue on how we talk to ourselves about everything in our universe. The work we do, the people we choose to be around, and the way we treat our home and what we fill it with, all of these things effect our happiness to one degree or another. What we need to decide is how we want to Style our Life.
I’m starting with home because it’s so tangible. We see our home every day and it’s a reflection of our inner world. When I feel grounded, centered, and happy my home is usually pretty clean and tidy because I’ve been doing my routines. When I’m stressed and busy I tend to drop my routines and I get even more stressed because the physical environment is crazy. It’s a vicious cycle. Decluttering is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, right after getting in shape. Marie Kondo is hot hot hot right now. Her new series launched and people are using the KonMarie method left and right! I think it’s awesome. We hold on to so much stuff that we don’t use, doesn’t suit who we are now or what we want our life to be. What does Home have to do with Self Love? Everything. It is our sanctuary from the world outside. It’s our starting line and finish line. The first step and the last in our days. If we wake up to a mess from the day before and see that same mess day after day in our bedrooms which are supposed to rejuvenate us, how can we ever truly feel rested?
If our kitchens are so cluttered and our fridge is growing science experiments instead of holding space for the healthy lifestyles we want to have, how can we be inspired to continue with that goal?
If our living room has trash, leftover food containers piled up, and the books we keep saying we want to read are covered in layers of dust; is it any wonder we want to zone out? We have no sanctuary. It’s totally in our control (even if it feels out of control) to improve our circumstances and life style no matter what our incomes are. Create your Sanctuary. Take the time you’d use scrolling and binge watching to get done what you know you want and need to. Ask for help if you don’t know where to start. Konmarie might be good but if that feels too overwhelming I really recommend checking out the FlyLady website. I speak from experience when I tell you having routines like this really does free you to do all the things you’ve wanted to guilt free after I take 15 minutes to clean up each day. Good luck to you!
HOW LIFE COULD BE
Imagine if you will, It’s the end of the day you come home, your coat and keys have a place where you can find them easily for the next outing. Your kitchen is clean and there’s food ready to go in the fridge because you made a plan for your week. As you go into your bedroom you see the light coming into your clean living room past your healthy happy plants and the book you’ve been reading is waiting for you on the coffee table. Your bed is made and you know just where your comfy pants are for the night’s lounging that’s about to go down. You get changed, hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry basket, go make yourself some dinner, call a friend, read a book, watch some TV, have scroll on social media, then get ready for bed. Your evening routine involves beautiful face wash and moisturizer, brushing your teeth, and looking at your journal for the next day so you can prepare for all the fun things you have coming tomorrow.
The example above is that of a single person. It’s the routine I wish I had had when I was figuring out life as and adult! It didn’t seem that important to me then. Partly because I didn’t know how important self care was and how it integrated with life at home. Is my house totally organized, perfectly planned, and always on point? HARDLY! Is it better than it used to be? ABSOLUTELY! It’s going to get crazy from time to time because life is crazy from time to time. Sometimes my life falls off the rails. (SEE THAT POST HERE) The biggest shift is I don’t give myself guilt about it anymore. Life happens and sometimes we have to come back to center. The main difference is I know where to start and how to quickly get back on track without the stress and overwhelm. I can prioritize things in each area each week. Home, Self, Work, and Relationships. It makes me remember to take care of myself as well as everything else in my Universe.
SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH
When I was younger I didn’t understand why women would waste time at the nail salon or the spa. Then I became a massage therapist and understood how important self care is in this day and age. There is so much outside stress and pressure that if we don’t have a release valve it can lead to stress related illness and disease if we don’t watch what we’re putting in our body. Three years ago I became a vegetarian for the second time in my life and I’ve never been happier. My energy feels completely different after I eat. Rarely do I get tired after a meal. I truly believe that energetically I am happier because of the food I’m eating. As someone who’s worked with energy healing modalities since 1999 I’m more sensitive to the energetics of food. I found it fascinating that I could taste the energy of my food and I never looked back. If it doesn’t make you happy, why do it? That’s what I asked myself. A lovely side effect is I feel happier for it!
SELF CARE AS A PARENT
As a mom I wanted to be an example to my daughter in all areas of life. But I’ve realized that self care is the most important thing I can teach. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Self Care is what this is all about. It’s taking care of our Body, Mind, and Spirit. As parents, if we’re stressed all the time and doing no self care we’re either going to break down, ignore our kids, or blow up at them. I don’t want my daughter to remember me that way. Things happen and frustrations flair from time to time but because I’m pretty calm most of the time, when I do blow my top she takes it seriously and things return to normal quickly. We know how to talk about things now that she’s getting older and it’s a constant lesson I’m getting tested on, but that’s part of life and parenting. If I blow up, it’s a reminder I’m not taking care of myself and I know I have to try to do better next time. So I try again, take another breath, and take it one day at a time.
SELF LOVE IN RELATIONSHIPS
You may think that relationships is all about how you feel about another person and interact with them but that’s only 1/2 of the equation. The other half is how that person makes you feel when you’re with them and how you feel after leave. My dear friends husband remarked that she is so hyper after we hang out that he wasn’t sure it was a good idea to get together because we’re both so happy afterwards! I said to her “Wait, he’s worried we’re too happy?” It made us both laugh even more. We are a bit like excited teenagers when we get together, I have to admit. If you feel revived, extra alive, and happy after you’ve spent time with them, that is a very good sign. Our friends and family are our tribe. Some we’re born into and some we choose. There’s also those we have to ban from the island! How do your relationships make you feel?
SELF LOVE AT WORK?
If you work 8 hours a day that’s 33% of your day working. Do you love what you do? When my husband and I first got married I asked him if he’d ever though about working someplace else. He had been there for over 25 years at that point and I was curious. He shrugged and said, “Not really.” This really surprised me because I had never known work satisfaction the way that he had. I always enjoyed the job when I started but with the heart of an entrepreneur and an Aries to boot, very entrepreneurial. I wanted to run things and create something, or at least have a growth trajectory.
My husband by comparison had worked for the same company, worked his way up in the ranks, and been offered a management position a few times that he turned down. It would have meant more money but “More money, more problems” especially when you become a manager. You get to deal with the big problems and he didn’t think he’d enjoy the work so he declined the offer. He truly enjoyed his work. He found it challenging and satisfying so he had no desire to switch. He had enough self love to know that if he took “the better” job it wouldn’t actually serve his happiness. It would mean more stress and less enjoyment. Why switch? He was Content. It was quite the Aha moment for me. Self Love at Work means doing work that you love. If it fulfills you financially and intellectually there’s no need to make a change. If another area of your life is suffering because of it, that’s another story but otherwise the question to ask here is “Does my work serve my greater happiness?” 33% of your life is a big chunk of time. It’s worth taking a close look at.
SELF, HOME, WORK, RELATIONSHIPS
All of this put together is the 4 Corners of Happiness. By reviewing how you’re doing in each of these areas I feel it will help you notice patterns and where things are off balance. You may be doing too much for your relationships and your work and not enough for yourself or your home. I’ve seen a combination of all of them, sometimes in my own life, but often in my clients or the people I worked with. I could see where they needed help but I didn’t know what to do about it. That’s why I’m so happy to put this information out into the world.
SELF LOVE MONTH
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about the 4 areas of life. During the month I’ll cover each of these in more detail as we dive deeper. For now, if you’re willing to do some intention setting I recommend sitting down with a notebook to contemplate the questions below. Before you start I want you to remember that this exercise is an act of Self Love. If you find yourself being judgmental remind yourself that you are looking at all of these areas not from a critical eye, but from a loving one. If there’s an area you’re ready to work on, do it from Love not criticism. I send you love. If you have any questions please let me know.
- Home: How does my home look and feel now. How do I want it to look and feel and why is that important to me?
- Self Care: How do I feel and look? How can I love myself more every day in simple ways. Why is it important?
- Relationships: How do my relationships make me feel? Am I drained or revitalized by them. Do they support me?
- Work: Does my work make me happy? If I could do anything, what would I do? What’s stopping me?
Write down your answers and let me know in the comments what major insights you got from this post. What areas are in good shape and which need more love and attention? I’m here to help so if you’d like a one on one conversation click on Work With Me and lets talk. It could be one of the most profound conversations you’ve ever had. Let’s have some Fun!
Have a beautiful day,