This is such an exciting time in my life. So many things have changed in a year that it's hard to feel nothing short of grateful as another birthday rolls around this Friday. One of the biggest things I've learned this past year is how much I love giving to others. What ever form that may take, giving your time, your love, your patience, your presence, your kindness, giving is something I plan on doing more of because it feeds the soul and brightens someone's day.
That is why this month, my birthday month, I'm giving you all a special treat. This month is full of little surprises to celebrate the excellence that is life, encourage incredible growth and motivate you to give back too.
Over the next five weeks, each Monday there will be a special guest blogger and a spectacular giveaway after the post. I'm so excited! Now if you could do me a little favor? Could you please pass these posts along? Give the gift of insight and learning to those who may need it. Post these guest posts and giveaways on Facebook, shout it from the rooftops, sing it skipping down the street. Just give, give back to others so that they can join you on this incredible journey and build their best life too.
Today's post is written by my friend Tayler, a yoga teacher at 4 Elements in McMinnville, Oregon. She's a cool lady, you'll like her bits of wisdom :)
You know how people always tell you that time speeds up as you get older? Well, its true. I’m realizing more and more that time is a precious commodity, and its one that I never seem to have enough of. These days especially, I think society tends to value busyness, and more and more it seems like every single moment of my time is taken up.
I think I am particularly sensitive to this because in the last six months my life has changed drastically. I went from working 45-50 hours a week, to being unemployed… and suddenly there was an abundance of “free time.” I was able to try new recipes, I became an avid runner, I was working on tons of crafting and DIY projects around the house, I was taking and teaching a ton of yoga classes, and for the first time in a good long while I actually felt like I was on top of things at home and in my personal life (minus the whole being unemployed thing).
In March I started a new job, and essentially hit the ground running in a fast paced, crazy busy restaurant environment. I absolutely love it, but my 50 hours a week quickly turned into 60 plus hours a week, leaving my moments of “free time” jam-packed. With projects. Day off are filled with laundry, errands, appointments, grocery shopping, yoga classes, hanging out with friends, cleaning, gardening etc., pretty much from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. And there is a part of me that loves this, a part of me that feels productive and satisfied and validated by juggling nine-million things at once. And there is this other part of me that is absolutely and utterly exhausted. And this past week I was reminded that sometimes when you are juggling a million things, its OK to take a step back, let everything drop for a moment before picking it back up and starting all over.
Last week was particular stressful at work. Managing in itself is a challenge, managing 24-year-old boys is an entirely different challenge (not always, but generally speaking). I finished my work week feeling a little defeated, and in-effective, and then I came home to face a dog who was acting out, piles of laundry, dishes, a neglected garden etc. I took one look at everything, and rather than being overwhelmed and discouraged by the amount of work, and the endless projects, I simply said “enough.”
I think all too often we feel the pressure sometimes from outside sources, and sometimes just the pressure and expectations we have of our own selves of “this needs to get done, this is what my life should look like, these are my priorities” and too often we ignore what it is we really need. Rather than taking a step back and giving ourselves a moment to re-charge, we power through the lists and projects, hoping for a moment of free time or relaxation on the other side. I’m guilty of this pretty much all the time, but at some point when is burning the candle at both ends too much to handle?
One thing I’ve really been trying to take to heart lately is “ you need to ask for what you want.” I try to remind myself of this at work all the time… people cannot read my mind, so it's an important aspect of communication to put out there what I need/ want from other people… I’m also taking this a step further, because before you ask for what you need, you need to figure out what the hell it is you need… even if it is just something that you need from yourself.
So this past week, I took a moment to ask myself what is was that I needed, and I gave myself permission to take a night off. I let go of all the projects, I ignored the laundry, I turned off my phone, I didn’t check my e-mail, and I threw an impromptu date night for one. I put my favorite bottle of rosé in the fridge, I got some beautiful produce from the farmers market, I lit some candles, and I made myself a five course meal. I sat outside in the garden, I didn’t talk to anyone, I didn’t think about work, I wasn’t stressing about deadlines or the dishes I’d left in the sink. I gave myself a night to just unwind, and re-boot. And it was the best thing I could have done for myself.
So why is it that something so easy, and something so necessary for mental and physical well-being isn’t always a priority? Why is slowing down and taking an evening to unwind and re-charge something that happens so few and far between the endless lists and projects? Why are we so compelled to constantly give of ourselves, and give of our time, when it is such a precious commodity? And why do we feel so much pressure to fill up all our waking moments?
I know I often feel pressure to fill my days up, because I do crave a certain amount of social experiences. I love to spend time catching up with my friends, and learning about what other people are up to, and cultivating meaningful relationships and friendships is a huge part of my life. But sometimes I feel obligated to over-commit, and over-extend myself because I get fearful of losing the relationships. There is this nagging voice in my head that says “well if I cancel on them too many times, they are just going to let the friendship go” or “they will stop inviting me to do things if I say no” and so more often than not, I ignore the part of me that craves solitude, the part of me that needs to rest and re-charge, and I fill my moments with coffee dates and projects. More often than not, I’m glad that I do this, and I love making connections and being around other people, but occasionally I have to remind myself that it is OK to just take a step back from everything and take some Me time. Because at the end of the day, if you cannot look out for yourself, and be a champion for your own needs, no one else is going to.
It's often easier said than done. Letting go of the anxiety, the stress, turning your brain off and not worrying about “well if I don’t do this now, when will it get done?” But if you do not carve out little moments for yourself to refocus and recharge, when will that get done? Yes, time is a precious commodity, but I think its time we all take a step back, take a deep breath, and start spending a little bit more time stealing moments for ourselves.
What are you going to do this week to carve out a little time for yourself to recharge and reboot?
Tayler lives in the heart of wine country in Oregon with her furry troll babes, Toby. Tayler loves teaching Hatha yoga, writing witty tales of life on her blog, The Awkward Olive and manages at a fast paced,super awesome artisan market called Red Hills Market.
Connect with her on facebook.
To kick off the month of giveaways I'm starting with me! To celebrate life, what it means to really live and because I want nothing more than for you to build your best life, I'm super excited to give one inspiring individual the gift that keeps on giving:
Here is what you have to do to enter this giveaway:
+ Simply leave a comment below telling me what you are going to do to carve out some time for yourself and one thing you are going to do this month to give back to others.
+ Not mandatory but much appreciated and will get you a second entry, share this post on your favorite social media outlet and tag The Savoury Soul and declare how you are going to start building your best life. ++Hashtags are encouraged #buildyourbestlife
+ Again, not mandatory but much appreciated and will get you a another entry, take a picture and post to instagram, something you are doing to build your best life, tag me: amandamoore6 and hashtag #buildyourbestlife
Rules: (Cause I'm a rule follower...sometimes) :)
+ This giveaway is open to everyone 18 years or older.
+ This giveaway is open from September 2nd to September 30th, 11:59pm. Recipients of giveaways will be announced on October 7th.
Now get out there and start building your best life and give the gift of giving!