By definition: “Spiritual self-care is the activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a Higher Power and meaning for our lives. ... Regardless of where you find spiritual meaning, a certain amount of effort and discipline are necessary for establishing and maintaining spiritual nurturance.”
Lately, I'm feeling more and more distant from my emails and Facebook and Instagram. I feel like I’ve shifted away from all the online ‘artificial life’ happening and it’s a feeling that I can’t seem to shake loose. How do you guys feel? My heart and soul are moving away from thinking that I need to be lulled into 'digital la-la land' or dialed into the 'next big thing happening' online. I don’t feel compelled to check out what everyone else is up to. I keep asking myself, "Am I enjoying this ride that is directing me on this journey to never-ending emails, daily onslaught of notifications and the distractions of what everyone else is doing?" The answer is no.
I’ve recognized the huge amount of electronic and digital distractions that have gone on in my life for the past few years and I do know how necessary they have been to accomplish business ideas and growth. I’m just trying to evaluate what I can get rid of and what kind of balance I can manifest in my life. I’ve also realized how my inbox of emails (with over 38,000 messages in this inbox) has hi-jacked my life and taken it towards a numbing direction that simply does not always serve my higher good.
Living in hyper speed.
We all tend to live our lives on hyper speed. For me it’s the non-stop innocent and yet, invasive texting, 300 new emails a day dropped into my inbox (and my incessant need to ‘file’ them to keep them tidy), pop up notifications to answer voicemails on my iPhone (do it now!), cool apps to make your photos filtered, faster Wi-Fi, instant gratification with texting and iMessage (Hello? Are you there? You need to answer me now!). Am I still being seen on Facebook? Did I get any likes? How many comments? Don’t forget Instagram Stories today (on 3 platforms)! How are our Tripadvisor reviews? Check Twitter notifications and look for re-tweets on 4 platforms? Oops, I need to upload the blog on to Pinterest! Mailchimp newsletter is ready to go!! AHHHH!!! In reality, it turns out that what we all do on social media is the same thing every single day (including seeing photo-shopped selfies of women my age that think they look better with no wrinkles using special enhancement apps). We are all chasing the wave to get noticed and liked. I have to ask all of us: What are we chasing?
It’s not that I don’t love the people I ‘follow’ online and it isn't that I don't appreciate who follows me. It’s not that at all! To be very honest, I love and respect all of you! I am simply growing weary of thinking I have to go on into my inbox or go onto my social media to make sure I don’t miss a thing and I’m trying to release my guilt for not answering people’s comments or acknowledging them. I’m also trying to release my need to post daily. In my mind, it has been imperative to be ‘online’ 24/7 and not miss an email or miss a beat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and to be appreciative of our friends and fans that love us so much and I want to always give back some love.
I'm going to create some rules to be able to savour my life too.
I’m lacking the connection to want to be a part of it. The more I am on these platforms, the more I realize I could have been doing something else for me and my heart and soul. With the ever-growing and brilliantly crafted Facebook platform and Instagram and going LIVE and IG stories and Snapchat and more, are always re-inventing new ways to get us hooked and keep us always checking in 125,000 times a day and get us hooked to run ads and make us pay for it and our presence online.
This is the hard part: I have built businesses on these platforms and these businesses have been successfully curated from social media so I respect the power that social media has. What I don't agree with is how we are losing our REAL lives and not caring for our REAL selves and our dreams and hearts and our REAL relationships are falling by the way side.
I'm excited to start to craft some new goals for me to take better care of my life, my balance and my soul. It's mid-week and I'm feeling burned out with an unusual fog in my brain. I’m exhausted to be perfectly honest and I hear this inner voice telling me to shut down my brain, slow down and find my grounding. This week has been the typical, usual extra busy week, with a couple of extra major stressors thrown in (that I can't talk about quite yet, but trust me, I will share when I'm able). So, I'm sitting here wanting to share with you openly and transparently my thoughts on life and what I do to transition from full-out, crazy business mode to 'cuddle on the couch' mode.
How do I leave the finances, marketing, emails, meetings, legal issues and a full out busy business centre with over 50 staff and go to simply read a book and soothe my inner goddess?
1. So important! Enlighten your mood by changing the smells around you. Light a scented candle - I love my oatmeal cookie scented one (made from soy, of course). A nebulizer works well too and can nourish the air you breathe. Scents work wonders for our changing our mind’s thoughts and our energy.
2. Emails. I endeavour to read emails only two times per day starting this week. Erinn and I both are targeting this and stay tuned for new auto-responders. I’m very excited. I feel that 9am and 2:30pm are perfect times to check email and this is what I am allowing myself permission to do. I am breaking this email distraction habit (I promise to write about it 2-3 weeks from now as a progress report – I want to discuss the habit forming sickness called “emailchecking-itis”)
3. I am giving up the “control” (control is really an illusion) of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and our restaurant's emails and not reading one more incoming email to our general mailbox. I have had them come to my inbox (with 4 other managers reading them too - lol) for over 7 years. I had them cancelled today. This is really a ‘Big Girl Pants’ Day!
4. I’m going to buy a water feature for indoors and listen to the soothing sound of water in my home this week. It drowns out noisy traffic, dogs barking, lawnmowers, and even boys…you name it! I have always lived on the water but now I’m not and I miss the sound of the waves that were so soothing. When I get it, I will share and let you know.
5. Stretch your body daily. Grab your yoga mat and don’t worry about thinking you have to do a full hour class. Do a couple of downward dogs and then go to ‘childs pose’. Place your forehead/third eye on your mat for 3-5 minutes and this will give you an instant recharge of peaceful energy.
6. Read on: This is self-care to the max! Have a bath in the middle of the afternoon. These are the best kind. There’s something indulgent, in my mind, to have a bath in the afternoon. It’s like I’m on vacation, on my own time with my own schedule. Pour in a cup of Himalayan sea salt; add some lavender oil and some jasmine oil too. I always have some Lush bath bombs on hand or detoxing sea weed too. Light a candle, add some music and chill out. Remember: No electronics. No Pinterest. No checking Instagram stories. You don't need to be anywhere except for where you are in that moment. Everything else can wait for you and trust me, whatever you think you need to do, will be waiting for you when you get out of the tub but what you have gained is a new perspective. When I have a bath, my mood and energy shifts. I feel safe and protected and indulgent. It is the mermaid in me that LOVES the water. I can go in the bath as a distraught numbskull and hang out for an hour and emerge a goddess. It’s pure magic. Trust me, whatever you have to do can wait and it will get done whenever you get it done. (I am totally preaching to myself here)
7. Sit in a window and look outside or sit on your balcony, deck or front porch and just SIT and observe. Breathe. Feel your breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat the word ‘love’ to yourself (I do this often: “love, love, love, love…”). Acknowledge nature as the squirrels run by or watch a bird soar in the sky and how he flaps his wings so gently or watch the wind blow the branches on a tree and see the leaves wave back at you. Be in that moment with nature and connect your soul.
Sometimes we can find ourselves struggling to relax. Be it if it is guilt (of course it is GUILT!) or the way that social media has programmed us to behave in warp speed and keep checking and checking and checking our inbox on our laptops and smartphones; we all can relate to the difficulty in letting go. Maybe we can start with walking our dog without a cell phone on us and engage in doggie love. Talk to him/her! Perhaps it's allowing your cat to jump up on you when you get home from work and cuddle and then fall asleep on your lap - there's nothing like the feeling of bonding with an animal that transmutes stress (or distracts us from reaching for our inbox).
Erinn and I promise to reach out to you soon with more: “Finding Balance in Business – Ways to Enhance Living Every Day”
Let us know what you think? Do you still love your inbox?
Love Kelly XO
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