KJ: An Owner’s Guide

I was on the phone with my coach, Steph, when she asked me a couple of really interesting questions – which, given that she’s a very good at what she does wasn’t that that surprising. However, as almost always happens when I’m talking with Steph, what was surprising was my answer.

“So what do you have going on that you might be worried about or feeling some tension around?” (I’m paraphrasing here, by the way.)

I hesitated, not entirely sure. Because to tell you the truth, things have been pretty darned awesome lately.

But you know what happens when you ask – eventually you’ll find something. I finally admitted – a little sheepishly – that I was a little concerned about what’s coming next and whether I’ll be able to maintain my overall feelings of awesomeness as I get even busier than I am now.

Again, I’m paraphrasing, but I think I likened it to having created a perfect smoothie, only to realize that I had yet to dump three trays of ice into the Blendtec. It’s the age old question: Will it blend?

Without missing a beat, Steph asked: “So what are you doing now to take care of yourself?”

It seems like an innocuous question, does it not?

But embedded in that relatively simple question is a massive kernel of truth (if not wisdom).

Things aren’t just going well; things are going well because I am doing things to make them go well.

Whether things are “going well” have little to do with what’s going on around me and almost everything to do with what I am doing. As a symbolic interactionist, I have known this for years, but like most academics, knowledge is not always practiced in the real world or, as Erving Goffman would say, “in every day life.”

So, what am I doing now that is so different from other points in my life? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. Thus, the next real question to grapple with is how do I keep doing these things while adding in all of my other opportunities and obligations?

Things That Make KJ Tick:

1) Hula Hooping
2) Yoga
3) Listening to self-development programs
4) Attending retreats
5) Using essential oils
6) Meditation
7) Weekly phone calls with a friend who is on a similar path
8) Eating very healthy food (and eating it slowly with presence and appreciation in a state of relaxation)
9) More sleep (and less alcohol)
10) Reading for pleasure
11) Going to walks
12) Taking care of my skin
13) Blogging
14) Chasing the sunlight
15) Wearing fun clothes
16) Adding fat to my diet (1/2 an avocado for breakfast, 1 Tb coconut oil at lunch and another at dinner, and a Tb of nut butter [or just nuts] for a snack
17) Listening to music
18) Drinking tea
19) Paying off debt
20) Staying connected with friends and family
21) Hanging with the cat
22) Talking to my inner child
23) Deep breathing exercises
24) Visualization

And these don’t even include the time I spend with my new husband and all of the things we get up to that probably shouldn’t be enumerated here 😉

The point is, things aren’t just going well because the stars have lined up in my favor. Things are going well because I’ve finally learned how to take care of myself.

I decided to blog about this so that I’ll have a written record of what’s working for me right now so that if things take a turn for the worse, I can go back and ask, Have I been following my own owner’s guide? What have I forgotten to do lately that may be affecting my mood, my productivity, my resiliency, or my health?

The second reason I decided to blog about this is, if there’s anyone else out there reading this, to ask: When things are going well, what are you doing – or what have you done – to get them there? What are you committed to doing to make sure they continue that way? In other words: What’s in your owner’s guide? And how committed are you to make sure they get done?

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