I am recovering from a cold. Nothing makes living happier more challenging then being sick. I spent much of yesterday alternating between the couch and my bed, taking advil and using my neti pot (of which I am a HUGE fan and even more so with how quickly I recovered from this cold). I also spent much of yesterday hammering myself about getting sick, being lazy and not working. Regardless of the the fact, I couldn’t breathe, had a fever and just felt generally miserable I still decided to beat myself up about taking a sick day.
This morning as I walked the dog, I was thinking about my definition of success for myself, and how so often I and many of my clients tend to externalize that definition. In reality I am someone who values, self care, who believes that when our bodies get to the point of sickness or exhaustion it is usually because we have pushed them there. Sickness for me is usually a sign that I haven’t been listening to myself, and need to stop and regroup. Which is what I did. I slept a lot, ate homemade chili and just relaxed. And I know because I took time out and let my body collapse yesterday, today I feel 1000 times better–still tired and snuffly but I was able to work and function well. Yet, I spent the majority of the day saying I SHOULD be up and working, I SHOULD be seeing clients, writing my blog, marketing blah, blah blah. All of that *crap* is someone else’s voice. That is the do or die career woman in me the work alcoholic totally out of balance why I got sick in the first place part of me.
So back to walking the dog (I don’t know what I did before I had a dog because I have so many great epiphanies when I am walking the dog) I asked myself when I look back on my life what would I regret? And I came up with a variety of answers–they included not spending enough time with my family, not contributing my gifts, not valuing my friends and hanging with them, not living life to it’s fullest which includes everything from enjoying my daily dog walks to traveling to New Zealand. The list did not include anything about the amount of money I would make or the number of clients I saw, or even becoming the next Dr Phil. The list included simple, every day life goals that I want to achieve. None of those goals involve, beating myself up. The truth is, the more I achieve my every day little goals, the more likely I am to achieve the bigger things. The point is am a happier person in my work life and personal life when I allow myself the freedom to take a sick day, to enjoy rolling over and petting my cat first thing in the morning, to plan trips to visit family in California over the holidays AND to contribute my gifts as much as possible. We all are happier when we allow ourselves to be who we truly are, when we can let go of the external ‘you aren’t enough because _______’ voice and really embrace who we are sickness, foibles, mistakes and imperfections.
My question to you is if you looked back on your life–what would you regret? I venture to guess, the things you would regret are NOT the things you are beating yourself up about.
In honor of the wisdom that comes from walking my dog I had to include a photo of her on one of our walks. Here’s to Mocha for getting me out of the house and out of my funky moods!!