As someone who naturally draws to "wonder drugs" like a moth to a flame, I have to say Gratitude is a high like no other.
The temperatures have dropped overnight here in Dallas, and the first cold morning of the season always brings with it a renewed perspective for the good things in my life. Before the sunrise, I woke up to get started on the day, claim some quiet time for myself and pray. That's right, friends, I'm praying again.
Let me back up and bring you up to date on what's been taking place with me.
At the end of August, I hung up with my business coach after a session, immediately called my creative partner, Leanne, and told her the Have The Conversation Podcast was taking a break for five weeks - effective immediately. I can only imagine how shocked she was because up until then, we had been rocking and rolling with our content, schedule, etc. But, for the first time in a long time, I sensed the burnout before it happened. That call I had with my coach made me realize that we had been grinding so hard that we hadn't taken the time to live. We talk more about this in an upcoming episode when I sit down with both Chad and Leanne. The conversation touches on the importance of rest, good leadership, and what the break meant to us. We just recorded it yesterday, so keep your eyes peeled on HTC's social account for an air date, but already I can feel the positive impact from that conversation. Conversations like yesterdays, the ones we have already had, and the upcoming guests are SOUL FOOD, and let's face it; we could all use a little nourishment right now.
Okay, so the praying, get on with it already!
The truth is that a five-week break is as spiritual as it gets. Most moments of self-discovery or "ah-ha" moments come after a cloud of depression for me. I have to always get to a low-low before I start to realize I am out of alignment. In the first few weeks of our break, I had grandiose plans to read books, spend quality time playing with family and friends, and dedicated time to just my husband and I's relationship. Unfortunately, day two, I found myself questioning everything I have ever done, particularly with my career.
I found when I wasn't dedicating time to my passions and purpose, I became underwhelmed in every area of my life. Nothing could spark joy or get me motivated. I felt bored, and boredom for me tends to bring up many resentments and bad habits. Long story short, I don't idle well. I crave the business (and the rest periods), but somehow, I self implode when forced to step away.
Luckily, the stars aligned before my sudden announcement of a break, and I booked my nutrition appointment with Leanne earlier in the month, so I knew we would be talking within the first week of our slow down. What a coincidence that turned out to be. I can't help but feel like setting that appointment ahead of time was a saving grace for what was to come. See, scheduling that nutrition appointment was me saying that it was time to come to terms with my relationships with food - and in times of boredom, you guessed it, the binge and purge in me like to run wild. Now on day two, with new skills, I couldn't run to my addictions like I usually do. I knew better, so I had to do better. So, I tracked my food and macronutrients like a good student and took the time to stretch before bed - a habit I now love! But, those first few days, I didn't feel right. I felt tense and irritable. I was short with my kids and distant from my husband. I took everyone else's problems on and took zero time to do what I had intended to do, which was rest and recharge.
Luckily, my inner voice is a real jerk (which you will learn all about in the episode I mentioned above), and it didn't let me wallow in self-pity for too long. By the end of the week, I made my way outside, told myself to get out of my head and into the fresh air, and decided it was time to go for a run. A run? Yes, you read that right. I now run and pray - who am I?
I pulled out my phone to pull up my playlist and set the vibe for what was sure to be a fast sprint turned to walk, but my music app wouldn't work. With my inner voice yelling at me to hurry up and get moving and my frustration with technology mounting, I switched it to Pandora Radio. It wouldn't work either! Annoyed and even more irritated, I tried one more App on my phone and began to run. Quickly I realized that it was not my typical station, as the message was more about hope and grace than rock and roll. I stopped mid-run, tried to change the station, and I kid-you-not, it would not change. I tried for what seemed like a very long time to be in running clothes and not run, fearing that anyone who could see I stopped would be judging my lack of skill. I shrugged it off and kept running anyway. Song after song, I felt the weight of my stress leave. I sobbed and snotted all over myself. I ran faster and faster, burning more calories than I have in weeks. Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks, threw my hands up, and surrendered. I prayed for patience, forgiveness, and direction. I thanked God for being so patient with me and extending a hand to me when all I've done is push him away for a very long time. I pleaded with Him, telling him that if I could do it my way and not have to become a bible toating, church-going, judgment spewing version of myself that I have worked so hard to avoid, that I would acknowledge our relationship moving forward if all I had to do was be me- swear words, addictions, and all. I've been running nearly every day since.
This morning as I finished my time on the patio, I took a moment to pray and inevitably cry - as I thanked The Universe for aligning me with the right people.
I thanked him for Leanne and her trust, her skillset, her friendship, and her love. I thanked him for Chad's role in my life as a mentor, coach, and friend. I thanked him for my children and their patience, resilience, words of wisdom, and humor. I thanked him for my husband and for all that man is to me. He is my safety, my unwavering support, and every eye roll I can muster. I asked for guidance on approaching this renewed relationship I was having with another man, with God. I prayed for my family, my friends, my business, myself, and humanity.
I came inside, smiled, and sat down to write, unaware that the words you just read were going to come out. I'm thankful for these gifts and this life - and I'm thankful for the ones that share my blog and social media posts and encourage me right back. We're all in this together, and I am grateful to be surrounded by such goodness.
As I was finishing this post, my daughter ran down the stairs and into my office, declaring "It smells like Christmas in my room!". I'm telling you, friends, the change of seasons is refreshing. Embrace it. Go outside and explore. Run. Get Out of your head. Fill your ears with good tunes. Surround yourself in encouraging words, and be thankful that you woke up today.
To book a nutrition consultation for yourself, visit LeanneHillFitness.com - and while you are there check out her fitness programs! 💪
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