I wrote this post for Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic’s blog months and months ago…but based on a recent conversation I had with a friend, I thought it would be ideal to repurpose this little gem of advice that I, myself, should take a listening to…
I’ll admit I have a deep-rooted need to make sure that everyone is happy, even if that sometimes means I’m not. It can be regarding anything from where we go to dinner to which channel is on the radio. I know…crazy!
In the last couple months I have been working really hard to strengthen my “no” muscle, and realizing that I need to take care of myself, even if that means that someone might not like my decision. Since moving here to Santa Barbara, Nick and I have been on a crazy rollercoaster of events, work (for me, two jobs! I just started working at Lululemon part-time!!), and socializing. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these things, and it’s been super fun (and never once have I regretted any of it), but there are definitely days where I “feel it” and so desperately just want to say “no.” Doesn’t seem super difficult does it? Well for me, it (was) nearly impossible…and I still presently struggle from time to time.
What I’m learning is that when I say “no”, and take some time to just be alone or just do what I really want to do, I come back better than before, and completely recharged. I was reading an article from Marks Daily Apple today about the benefits of solitude (read full article HERE!) , and it just rings so true for me right now. How often do we TRULY take time to be present with ourselves, and ONLY ourselves? When you think you are taking time for solitude, does that mean no laptop, no iPhone, no TV??? While we were designed to be in “tribes”, absolutely, even hunter/gathers took plenty of time in pure solitude. Mark Sisson writes, “We use alone time to process our relationships and recalibrate our sense of self. Solitude confirms that we’re more than the sum of our reactions to other people and encounters. In solitude, we return to center.”
I’m learning that not only is it better for ME to have some time alone, and make sure that I’m doing what I truly want to do (of course sometimes you just need to suck it up and take one for the team), but it’s so much better for my relationships. I come back to the relationship as a more whole person, and with more to bring to the table; I feel more excited about my life, and have more to share with Nick (and friends and family!) when I see them! I appreciate everything more, and never feel resentful for doing something that I don’t really want to do. While this may seem like a no-brainer to so many people, it’s really something that is taking a lot of growth for me…but the more I do it, the easier it gets!
This week, either take some time alone without any technological distractions, and just be present with yourself; give yourself that gift! Between work, and meetings, and running your kids to school and their activities, don’t you think you absolutely deserve that!?
I do 🙂
Yours in complete presence,