Self-Care Following your souls calling
If you're active in the FREE Facebook group you might have seen that last month your Ambassador Tammy took two weeks off for a self-care sabbatical.
I will be sharing with you now in a Three Part Blog Post her message before and after her time away as there are many deep, soulful, inspiring lessons for all of us. In fact, it was Tammy who inspired me to do something similar for my own self-care that I’ll share with you in part three.
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"Hey, IKS Tribe!
I'm so impressed with the engagement and progress many of you are making in the #90DayIKSJan21 Challenge. I've been loving your vision boards, grocery carts, courageous journaling and shares, and how you're showing up for yourselves while supporting one another. Keep it up!
A little reminder: No matter what you're feeling in the moment or what excuses (lies) you might tell yourself for why a task isn't important or necessary or why you don't need to do the course "exactly" the way it's laid out, don't sell yourself short by skipping ANYTHING....not a single instruction....they're there for a reason and you paid good money to get wisdom and guidance from someone who knows what she's talking about because YOU didn't know what to do to help yourself.
Absolutely EVERYTHING you experience is your teacher if you're open to exploring. Even your resistance. Especially your fear. Remember, your FEELINGS CAN'T HURT YOU.
They're just feelings; energy conjured from within. If you're feeling uncomfortable, good! Apathy, comfort, and familiarity are growth killers. You can't kick sugar without being willing to do something different than you've been doing until now.
Your discomfort is a gift. Don't turn away. Pay attention and embrace it. It's waking you up out of your sugar coma and means you're about to learn or experience something you haven't been ready to open to until now. Your soul is knocking and asking to be heard at a new level of consciousness. This is GOOD NEWS!
The ONLY thing that will hold you back from experiencing sugar freedom is your mind and the stories you tell yourself about why it's not possible for you. But YOU are in total control of your stories. If you're struggling, turn the page and write a new one!
The most critical part of our wellness journey is learning to slow our pace and put our ears down to our hearts long enough to listen deeply to what our spirit is most longing for and then being brave enough to follow. Essentially, to let our heart-pen ink a new, more authentic path across our hours and days.
In that spirit and truth, I wanted to let you know that as of January 18 I will be taking a self-care sabbatical away from social media, groups, and screens for the remainder of the month. I will not be producing content or responding to posts, emails, texts, or private messages with the exception of emergencies.
As much as I love companioning you all and am excited to see how your journeys unfold day-to-day, the story I need to write on my own life for a short season is one of quiet pause for deeper reflection, rest, and creative rejuvenation.
You are deeply and well cared for by the other amazing IKS Ambassadors Dawn, Amy, Melissa and masterfully guided by Joyce, and have as much support from this incredible group of women as you're willing to risk asking for. I LOVE knowing my presence may be valued but it is not needed in order for each one here to thrive!
The truth is, after a long season of pushing hard in every area of my life I simply need more time in nature and less in front of screens; more breathing space, playtime, and attention to the things and people most dear to me in order to ground myself wholeheartedly in whatever comes next.
Once we KNOW WHAT WE NEED it's incumbent upon us to do whatever it takes to honor our Soul's Calling lest we lose a little more of our authentic Self, vital energy, and overall health day by day. Listen to the whispers in your own Body and Soul and enthusiastically, without apology, follow where they lead!
I'll see you again soon. Big Love,
I hope Tammy's message inspires you to take some time now and see where you might need to take a pause in your life and where you can add some self-care into your days. This is a perfect time to sit down with your journal and explore what your heart is aching for.
"Happy February, IKS sisters.....I'm baaack!!!
Thank you all for your wonderful affirmations and support of my taking a little social media and screen-time hiatus the last half of January in order to reboot, refresh, and reevaluate my priorities.
I highly recommend it if you're feeling burned out in ANY way! 2020 was enough to drain the life out of the best of us but it's no excuse for throwing self-care out the window. In fact, because of what the past year required of us on every level it's even more imperative that we set strong boundaries on what we're pouring out and even greater intention on what we're consuming in every way. If we want to feel stronger, healthier, and more alive at the end of 2021 than we do right now we have to DESIGN our days, CREATE our habits, and BRING the joy to each moment.
No matter what happened last year, our current personal circumstances, or what's going on in the world around us, it's up to each of us to continually self-assess our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and relational energy and to course-correct as SOON as we realize we're veering even a little bit into a space of drain, inattention, fatigue, numbing out, poor habits, or just going through the motions of our days without vitality, purpose, peace, or joy. No one is going to invite you to "take a break" or "do less".....it's YOUR responsibility to be the guardian of your own boundaries, energy, vision, health, and loving self-care no matter what it takes to do so!
In case you need a little encouragement to set your intentions toward greater self-love this month...I mean, it is LOVE month, so who better to start with than YOU...I thought I'd share a few pics of how I took time away to fill my own well and reset my soul-compass toward True North.
I had a FABULOUSLY restorative time and not a single day entailed being on my computer, watching a TV, looking at my phone, scrolling social media, listening to the news, or looking to see what others were up to! Nope, they ALL revolved around me getting more fully Present to each precious moment and day I was gifted and committing to REIGNITING MY OWN LIFE by following wherever the Spirit led toward joy.
A few adventures that intention included:
An impromptu mini-retreat to a remote snow cabin with my best friend where I rode my first Fat tire bike on gorgeous snow trails, went snowshoeing up a stunning ridge sans one pole that broke at the trailhead (never let inconvenience stop your goals and dreams!), reading by the fire, delish healthy meals we pre-planned, and a hot tub on the deck each night after coming in from amazing workouts and delightful cold play. Divine!
Reading 6 great books curled up by the fire. Ahhhh, heaven.
Finally investing in a beautiful new gravel bike to add to my fitness lifestyle. I've only ever bought second-hand, crappy bikes that made riding less than enjoyable so I rarely did it. I decided I'm WORTH the pleasure of having good equipment instead of other people's crumbs....a great tip when making a decision in every area of life! Where are YOU taking other people's crumbs instead of setting your own feast?
Local snow hiking and time on my treadmill to reach my 100-mile January goal to kick-off my Run the Year challenge of 2,021 miles in 2021. Yesterday's 5-miler in the mountains with my best friend was an exhilarating way to celebrate reaching my first milestone even if I did ditch my crappy snowshoes a 1/4 mile in and found myself buried knee-deep more than once, wore the wrong socks, and was a sweaty-wet, cold mess. Woo-hoo, life is what you make of it and I choose to call it ALL a worthy adventure as long as I'm just showing up and putting my heart into it!!
What do YOU need to reassess right now and maybe course-correct? How are you going to Ignite Your Own Life toward greater health, happiness, and meaning this month?
No excuses. There's no time like NOW to take a single action toward manifesting that change you KNOW you need to make on your own beautiful behalf! You're worth it!!!"
I hope you’ve enjoyed the last two emails from the desk of your ambassador, Tammy.
There isn’t a day I’m not grateful for having her presence in my life and thankful that she is part of the IKS Tribe sharing her wealth of life experiences, wisdom and soulful insights with us all. She not only inspires you, but she inspires me.
If you have been a part of any of my live trainings or jumped on a Zoom meetup with me, you’ll know I work very hard on being as transparent as possible. I never want to allude to the fact that I have it all together and I’m done learning. I’m always trying to get the message across that life is a lesson and we will always be learning and practicing daily. There IS NO “place to get to, you are already here, you just need to remember.” Yes, it’s true I am Sugar-Free; however, my lessons don’t stop there. For those of you who have done The Work you’ve learned your journey isn’t really about overcoming sugar, it’s about overcoming ourselves and learning to masterfully master ourselves.
However, because I’m sugar-free I am now able to focus on what I really desire in my life without the drama or health issues I had when I was consuming sugar. Look, life is freakin’ awesome without sugar! I don’t miss it and wouldn’t want it any other way… and because I ditched sugar over 5 years ago, I’ve been able to go after my dreams and build a thriving business, while diving deep into learning and growing in the self-improvement department. I truly believe that is the reason we are all here, to Live, Love and Grow.
Before Tammy took her self-care sabbatical back in January, she came to me to share where she was at and gave me the courtesy to let me know she would be absent from the group for two weeks.
As thrilled and as happy as I was to see her taking care of herself and to be able to support her during this part of her journey, I’m not gonna lie I was a bit jealous. I secretly wished I could take two weeks off from the internet and run away to a cabin in the mountains with my best friend, play all day in the snow, eat healthy prepared plant-based meals, soak in an outdoor hot tub surrounded by snowy mountains and curl up by a warm crackling fireplace at night. Her escape and retreat sounded dreamy to me.
I could have easily chosen to feel sorry for myself that I couldn’t get away right now and do that. As many of you know I’m in the midst of overseeing the care of both my parents who have Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Plus, my business REQUIRES the internet. I can’t just run away from that… and honestly deep down I DON’T WANT TO. After journaling I realized If I wanted to truly get away I could. So if I’m not, that means I really don’t want to.
So, what was it I wanted that Tammy was choosing for herself?
If not a full 4-day retreat, how about a daily mini-retreat right here at home?
What was it that was really calling me?
What was my heart and soul truly longing for if not the cabin-in-the-mountains getaway?
I sat, journaled, and meditated on this. I was longing for a new morning routine. I was longing to get away, but soon realized I didn’t have to go far to do that. I’ve been ignoring some amazing mountains not 5 minutes away from where I live that have been calling to me.
My husband Luke, who is an avid mountaineer never ignores the call. He lives, sleeps (literally sometimes) and breathes the great outdoors. I say I want to, but I let the days go by one by one shackled to my computer while he’s out playing before the sun even rises.
Tammy’s adventurous, courageous, self-care sabbatical inspired me to create my own mini sabbatical. No, not taking whole days off, but taking my early mornings off. A time I decided to devote just for me. Mornings used to be a time I devoted to myself but I slowly began to abandon my special time as my to-do list grew longer.
I decided that for 7 days straight I would change up my morning routine. Instead of jumping right into work first thing. I wanted to create a new habit. I asked myself a hard question. Where was my joy? If my days were so busy “doing” that I couldn’t have a few hours in the wee morning hours to myself what did that say about my life? Tammy’s brave, courageous sabbatical reminded me, my life is happening right now, not someday.
And so, I rose each morning at 4:00 am, drank my morning coffee (black), got dressed and headed out on an outdoor adventure with Luke. This is BIG for me. I have a strong aversion to the cold, so the dark, bitter chill of winter mornings present a big obstacle. But I decided to welcome it, to stop resisting what is wrong and start loving what is right. Braving the cold and the darkness made me get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to work on being more adaptable. I knew if I could work on becoming mentally stronger I’d be ready when things were thrown at me and my life feels scrambled. Maybe I’d be better equipped to handle things like the daily calls I get from my parents involving the latest dramas and health situations and everything it takes to run my business.
And so, I began my 7-day mountain scramble adventure challenge.
So, what is scrambling? “Scrambling lies between hiking and technical rock climbing with no ropes. Perhaps the best way to differentiate it from hiking is that you use your hands for balance and pulling up when you scramble. It's sometimes called rock scrambling or alpine scrambling.”
Although during the route there are many situations that are not technically difficult, it’s the exposure and height that usually stops me dead in my tracks and makes me second guess myself. If I stay too long in one spot, allowing my mind (my Ego thoughts) to take over, I get stuck. Fear starts to rush in and paralyze me. Such a great analogy to life.
In the past I’ve gotten so stuck I’ve had emotional breakdowns and started crying out of fear and said to Luke, “I can’t do it and I want to go back.” In this Challenge I was determined to push past the fear and let go of those detrimental thoughts that would always get me stuck.
I’ve been playing in these mountains for 20 years with Luke. I wasn’t a complete stranger to them. This time I wanted to do the Challenge for speed, agility, adaptability to uncomfortableness, and for courage to not get stuck in that negative thought loop.
It was the BEST WEEK EVER! I completed the challenge I set out for myself and I’m happy to say there were no emotional meltdowns. The beauty of it was that I didn’t need a 4-day retreat in a mountain cabin to go on a vacation. I created my own mini retreat. This past week felt like a full-on vacation. I nurtured myself with self-care graced by the gifts of Mother Nature. I connected on a deeper level with Luke, while nurturing and strengthening our relationship. I learned first-hand the things that I resist the most are the things I need and want the most, that exhilaration and triumph lie on the other side of fear, that obstacles and uncomfortableness make us stronger when we lean into them. I was rejuvenated by Mother Earth’s glories and gifts that she bestowed upon me each morning and I am stronger for the many lessons learned from her ancient wisdom.
I’m happy to say I’m back and rejuvenated with a new charge for life and already planning my next morning sabbatical.
Now the question is what are you going to do for YOUR self-care?
What is your heart calling you to do?
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