It is easy to get wrapped up in the day to day of life; we forget who we are, what is important to us, and how to maintain a fulfilling life for ourselves. Over the past several months that is exactly what happened to me. Kids, school, coaching, laundry, cleaning, cooking, errands, birthday parties, holidays, family crises, etc. I let it all consume me. Luckily, I finally noticed how disconnected I was from myself and how unbalanced my life was. I became so focused on the doing in my life that I neglected the being - who I really am and what I need. Yikes! How did I get there? It wasn't intentional - somehow I wandered out of the beautiful pasture called "living passionately me" and got lost in a land called "every day".
I had been struggling for a while. It started around the time I wrote my last blog entry (Sept./Oct. 2012), and I knew my life wasn't flowing as easily as I wanted. However, I chalked it up to several significant changes in my life: starting an intensive coaching certification program, leaving my corporate job after 15 years and transitioning into a more traditional "stay-at-home-mom" role, and suffering the pain and loss from the passing of my mother-in-law. As time went on, though, things didn't change and I couldn't get my passion back.
At some point, I realized that I was having trouble connecting to my coaching clients, and it hit me: I was not connecting to my clients because I was not connected to myself! That was the wake-up call I needed to see I had lost sight of who I was, what I needed, and what I was capable of doing in this world.
To help me with this experience, my own life coach asked me to write a love letter to myself. I agreed to take it on, but I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to do. I procrastinated for 6 days until I only had one day left, and I finally wrote the following:
"Dear Suzanne, I know you have been procrastinating over the last several days to complete your assignment. There is something difficult and painful about writing a love letter to yourself. First, it would feel forced and awkward. Second, it would require writing something that you feel wasn't true. Third, it would require you to feel things you have been avoiding lately! However, this is what you need - to reconnect with yourself. Imagine bringing back the feelings of being empowered to do anything in your life; to feel that you have a greater purpose in this world; to know that others need you to tell your story and share your wisdom so that they can grow. Remember what it was like to experience this? It was like there was a new energy within you, a bright powerful light shining from you, and the universe was your canvas to create your life in a big and bold way. Wasn't that great? It was feeling and knowing your authentic self! It was living each day passionately! So, in an effort to get you back to your truest self, here are the wonderful things I love about you: - you commit to the things you say you are going to do and have fierce determination for those things that are hard- you have an unwavering love for your friends and family- you see your life's journey is full of wisdom and learning and use it to live a better, more fulfilled life - you are willing to walk through your fear for the sake of creating change in your life- you are a dedicated mother who teaches her children to learn, love, and grow into passionate, fun-loving beings- you are a loving, supportive wife who can admit when she is wrong - you are a great baker and can make desserts that are incredibly delicious- you have a great passion for helping others in a meaningful way that leaves them feeling whole- you proactively ask for help and are open to receiving it - your actions are inspiring to others- you are creative and resourcefulThese are just a few of the so many wonderful things that I love about you. But if there is only one thing that you remember, it is that you are a risk taker who lives a juicy flavorful life! Go live your life as juicy as you can and keep living passionately me! Love,Suzanne"
After writing that letter, things started to shift. I felt motivated, excited, and passionate again. The thrill of being me came flooding back. However, I couldn't help but worry that if I fell out of love with myself once, it could happen again. So, that is when I began a new initiative: "fun and new", inspired by my health coach Michelle. She would ask me at the start of each session what is "good and new" in my life since we last spoke. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on what I was doing for myself. I decided to make a commitment to do one thing a month that I have never done before; something that would bring me joy, and maybe even a little bit of fear. So, with you as my witness, I am committing to do something "fun and new" each month
-January: High speed go-kart racing
-February: Fire a gun at a shooting range
-March: Go away one night on my own
-April: Take a wine and cheese tasting class
-May: Fly on a trapeze
-June: Play paintball
-July: Go zip-lining
-August: Learn how to decorate a cake with fondant
-September: Take an art class
-October: Fly a plane
-November: Volunteer at a soup kitchen
-December: Learn to snowboard
I would love to bring you along on this journey! Are you in? Are you ready to kick off this year with a renewed sense of self? it is not too late! Tell me what you are committing to do. Share your thoughts and experiences with me at Living Passionately Me!