In law school I would find myself spending an obnoxious amount of time, right around finals, cleaning my apartment. At the time I thought it was a classic avoidance technique…I will clean so I don’t need to focus on what really matters, my studies.
Today I think what was really going on was much different. You see, in law school, I would spend an entire semester cramming my head full of terminology, case law, statutes, common law and the like into my brain. My brain would be full by the end of the semester. No more penguins could fit on that iceberg come May.
In fact, towards the end of the semester I was known for forgetting the name to common household items (it was a spoon) AND for putting stamps on the wrong side of the envelope. Too many penguins on the iceberg resulted in good penguins jumping ship!
Anyway, what I really think was going on during these cleaning frenzies was that my mind needed a fresh perspective and by cleaning and reorganizing my living space, it was allowed to take a breather and have a fresh perspective, so that my brain could organize and focus.
That is what the year of self love challenge is focusing on this week. Take some time to rearrange your living space. It could be your bedroom, office or even the bathroom. Buy a new bedspread. Get out a different set of dishes.
What ever it is rearrange the living spaces in your life differently to allow that fresh perspective to sneak in. Your brain (and those penguins) will thank you for it.
I’m a firm believer that problems get solved with some fresh perspective. This is true when you are working too hard (just take a walk or run your ideas by someone else) or when you are in a rut (try something new and see how inspired you get).
That’s why I love this week’s challenge so much! In a year devoted to loving yourself as best you can, what better way is there to get a fresh perspective about yourself? Try a new hairstyle or makeup look.
For me that meant cutting a couple inches off the bottom to get ready for summer. My head feels so much lighter now that that dead weight is off. I’m ready to see where the next 6 months of the year takes me for sure.
This doesn’t have to be extreme. Maybe part your hair a different way or try a new style.
Go to a beauty counter and have them give you a new lip or eye option.
The possibilities are as minimal or as extreme as you want them.
Oh, and I also resurrected an old hairstyle this week as well. You have to put on a scrunchie with a high ponytail when you go to see New Kids on the Block!
This week we tackled the the second of our four buckets: the physical. Really, this week was all about shifting your mindset from what your body isn’t, to reveling in what it is. Katie pointed out that you weren’t born hating your body. It’s trained into you over time.
At 13: 53% of girls are unhappy with their body.
At 17: 78%.
At Adulthood: 91% of women are unhappy with their body and resort to dieting.
This week we dove deep into that unhealthy relationship in The Jourse. Katie said that people who are unhappy with their body often also have an unhealthy relationship with food. The trick is to identify the trigger, acknowledge it, and find another way to deal with the problem.
Another way to deal with this issue is to recognize it is a vehicle for being, for giving, for loving, for moving, for feeling. When you recognize this your start to realize you need to take care of your body. Do that by:
- Regular exercise-get up and move. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym. It means walking, moving, playing, dancing and remaining active throughout the day.
- Balanced diet-This is more than what you eat. It is what you watch, listen to, and who you hang out with.
- Water-1/2 your body weight in water is needed per day. Most of the time you aren’t actually hungry. You are just thirsty.
- Sleep-This is different for every person. Be mindful of what your body needs.
It is also helpful to recognize your deficits in this area by identifying the energy you need, rather than the size of clothing you would like to be.
I fall firmly into that 91%. I’m not sure where it came from but I have been unhappy with my body for as long as I can remember. I have also been dieting for as long as I can remember, until recently that is when I started to shift my mindset on this topic from weight loss to nutrition.
It is because of the unhealthy relationship I have with food.
If I get stressed, I eat. If I’m sad, I eat. If I’m bored, I eat. I eat to celebrate. I eat to socialize. Everything I do revolves around eating. It has been a hard shift to think of food as fuel and not all the important parts of my life. One that I am still working on every single day. Some days are definitely better than others on this one.
Being able to acknowledge what my body can do, as opposed to focus on its limitations was an important lesson for me in this weeks training. Katie had us think about writing a love letter to our bodies just to help us adjust our mindset from that of hating our bodies to one of loving all it can do.
Lastly, she reminded us that our children see how we talk about ourselves and, if for no other reason, we should treat our bodies more kindly so our next generation will to.
You can’t know who you are without knowing what you need.Katie L. Wood
Katie L. Wood is one of my favorite trainers. She recently branched out of the business world and developed a series of training’s designed for specifically for women and their personal development. Her terminology of “Jourse,” which I can’t say without trying to sound like a white female rapper (and not a good one), is based on the premise that you must figure out what you need before you can discover who you are. The Jourse wants you to learn that sometimes we get caught of living our life backwards-we try to have more in order to do what we want. However, the opposite is true:
You must first be WHO you are and do what you NEED to do, in order to have WHAT YOU WANT.Katie L. Wood
Perhaps the biggest takeaway I had from this first week in the Jourse is this concept of having 4 primary buckets we need to fill in our lives. If we don’t focus on filling the buckets it will lead to self-destruction. As women we tend to pour everything we have out of these buckets for the benefit of others and never take time to replenish them.
So what are those buckets?
- Physical-What are you doing to keep your body healthy and strong?
- Mental-Do you flex your mind, learn, and continue to grow?
- Soul-How do you honor the higher power your recognize in your daily existence?
- Relationship-Are you showing up meaningfully to those people that matter?
What are you doing to fill these buckets? I mean, really think about it. Are there one or more of these categories that are completely lacking in attention?
For me, I’ve done a pretty good job filling buckets one and two; however, buckets there and four have been getting neglected in a pretty major way. And you know what? I’ve felt it. I have physically and mentally felt a drain of energy, motivation, and focus in my life. I can’t even count how many times over the last several months I have said to my husband, “I’m drained,” “I’m spent,” or “I can’t put myself out there anymore.” My buckets are empty and need to be filled.
So this last week has been one of rejuvenation and reflection for me. How do I focus on my soul and my relationships? That, my friends, resulted in a pretty fabulous weekend with the family: quality time with the kids, date night with the husband, and Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. I mean really who else do you turn to when you Soul Bucket needs a refill?
The Jourse, Week 1, was a success in my book. Looking forward to the journey this course takes me on.