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I have the feeling my life has changed significantly lately. I believe this is due to something that changed with myself. You might call it inner change or awakening.
Nothing new, drastic, or traumatic happened in the last years. No major change occurred. Nothing compared to the beginning of motherhood two and a half years ago. This was a natural changing process.
One day, as I was spending time with my family, a stranger approached me, and we started talking. This particular conversation was natural and straightforward, but it sparked something in me.
Thinking back, I never felt I was someone who would do something with no purpose. I’ve never been one to expect someone else to be the proactive person. This may be a cliché, but I’ve always tried to be truly involved in everything I set my mind to do. And I would compromise with what I felt was right for me.
Coming back to myself
I realized that, in the past years, I just let life happen with no pro-active actions. I wondered: why did I make the fear of breaking something, hold me back? Why did I start taking medicines just because someone told me it would decrease Lupus’ advances?
Step by step, these understandings made me come back to my true self. I know many people won’t understand, and some will support me no matter what. I’m fine either way. I realized I need to act based on my instinct.
From this point, I started to apply a few impactful changes. I dropped my medication, started to rest more, and introduced new routines in my daily life: gym, meditation, and quality time with family and friends.
I’m grateful for my everyday life, my work, and for everything I get involved in. I make a point to live to the fullest. It was time to live up to it.
Not a self-help speech
This is not supposed to be a self-help speech, or a path to happiness. It has been working for me, and that’s it. Whit this self-discovery process, I recognized that by getting so involved in every project, I was doing any good to myself or others.
Even though I’ve been unhappy about a few things lately, talking and sharing my feelings was not enough. I needed to have an attitude about it, or I would make things worse. Through this self-discovery process, I came to a few conclusions, that can be split into four main points.
1.There’s no such thing as a perfect balance
I don’t know if there’s a real balance, I’m still figuring that out.
Am I the only one who gets so entangled in work, because I’m passionate about what I do? Do you get so happy that you make a genuine “uhuu!” when you deliver?
If so, have you ever felt that those feelings could interfere with your relations with family, friends, and even with your own self-care? I feel it all the time! All if this multi-tasking and disperse attention drain me in the attempt to fulfill that patron daily.
The feeling of exhaustion comes mainly from putting everyone’s needs (clients, co-workers, family, friends) before our owns. We end up neglecting the natural energy flow and routines of our bodies, which ultimately would make us more productive and creative. We cave to the instant needs of the world around us, forcing reactions.
We won’t be able to follow our plans every day, and that’s okay. Balance is a mere illusion. We should be working on self-love and acceptance in every situation life puts upon us.
2. I need to respect my own flow
I concluded that we need to respect our flow of energy, regardless of what anyone may think. Some people are early birds, and some are night owls.
I started to monitor my rhythms and then organized my time according to those results. For instance, I know I’m more alert in the morning: after a good night’s sleep, I wake full of new ideas! Since this is my golden moment, I start my days with meditation, go to the gym, and then I have space for total focus.
In the afternoon, my energy starts to decrease. I reserved that time for little tasks, that won’t demand much of mental or physical effort. Also, whenever I can, I take a 15-minute power nap, to re-gain my strengths!
At night, my mental energy rises again, although I get physically tired. That’s when I take to write something or design a mock-up.
3. Knowing and respecting my principles is key
I realized some of my principles might go into chock with people I work with.
Thus, I concluded that we can refuse projects sometimes if they go completely against my vision and way of living. Until when is it healthy to drop our morals and principals, to fulfill a commercial purpose?
I understood that it will be hard to reach a deadline, not only for me but for the clients, if just don’t “fit”. We sometimes need to understand it doesn’t make sense to carry some relationships and follow different directions. That’s totally okay!
4. My work must be meaningful and fulfilling
What to do when I feel my work is not significant?
I always had a sense of purpose in my work. Almost as if I was doing my part to change the world. I feel I can help people, directly or not. In my job, in particular, I find great satisfaction just knowing I’m helping my clients. However, that feeling can fade fast. What should I do when instead of helping someone, I’m just doing what I was told?
There’s no perfect solution. There are a million reasons why we can quit a job – professional goals, personal questions, health issues, etc. Sometimes, all these together.
It starts to be a problem when you spend your days sad because you are involved in a project in which you feel you could give much more of only clients were more receptive. What do you do when all your clients want it’s a pad in the back and compliments?
It’s a red sign when you feel disrespected. You start to feel uncomfortable with discussions about things that are not your responsibility. When everything is urgent, nothing is, and it all becomes a mess.
“I started to really envy the postwoman.”
I began to have some of the feelings listed above. And do you know what happened to me?
I started to really envy the postwoman. Every day, I would see the post girl trough the gym window, along her path with all the letters. In the afternoon, the same girl would appear in the office.
Life seemed peaceful to her. While delivering all those letters, she had the privilege to enjoy the view of Lisbon, alongside typical Portuguese balconies. I started to wish that peace, a bit of that freedom, with no constant calls and noise.
At this point, I realized it was up to me, not letting life just go by. I could work on a meaningful project, feel free, and get involved. Take a break from people who drain me.
Not everything is under my control. Somethings things don’t work out and it is fine. Some people want our help, and some don’t. What I can do is decide with kind of people I want to work with, and eventually fall in love with my work again.
Finding purpose in my work
Is still don’t know the answer to all those questions, but I promise to share when I find out. Right now, I want to be able to make my own decisions. Maybe I need a vast transformation. Perhaps I just need to rest and re-set.
I will start by figuring out what awakens my sense of purpose, saying it out loud, and figuring out how can I make it happen daily. After that, I need actually to believe it’s possible, and find the right partners to make it happen.
Only I can motive myself. After all, no one is going to arrive on a white horse to save me :D.