On a Saturday morning, the day after Thanksgiving Day, I'm sitting at the hotel pool, trying to multitask by watching my son do somersaults into the pool while I type this blog. Trust me, it's a task to successfully pull off as I'm constantly glancing sideways at him to throw him a quick smile, while trying to listen to him over my headphones, and type at the same time. LOL! The things we do for our children to make them feel assured of our attention and love.
The question I have is what do we do for ourselves and how do we know if we're always going so damn fast throughout our days; hence throughout our lives? I am in that time of reflection and I invite you to be too. That time when I'm taking in my moments so that I can reflect on them later. I worked on my 2022 focus areas last week and one that fell under Self-Love is to reflect on my day via my journal. Yes, I use a journal but not consistently and for different purposes. This time I'm focused on true reflection and I'm documenting by writing from myself to myself and it starts off with "Dear Kenya, you..." Let's discuss some of the things you can start to reflect on and possibly shift as well as document to see just how far you've come when you take a moment to look back on your reflections.
Reflect On Your Morning Routine
This is one of the areas that I struggle with the most because I'm always somewhere else mentally when I'm doing what I do all the time. You know what I mean? Like being on autopilot and you find yourself home after driving 20 minutes from work/the store and you don't even know how you got there because you were in your head and not in the moment (taking in the scenery/paying close attention to cars and people walking along the road). We all do it. So now let's look at where you are at when you're taking a shower, washing your face, brushing your teeth or having a cup of coffee (if you drink coffee) or tea. What are you thinking about when you are doing those things? If your mind works anything like mine, then you're thinking about a hundred things or maybe even just one thing that is weighing on your. Sometimes you don't even remember what you thought of as you "multied". Yes, that is not a real word. I just made it up because it's a mix been actions and thoughts that are not in alignment with each other yet we multy all the time. We have, maybe, one or two actions going on at the same time while having hundreds of thoughts streaming through our mind like we're watching a tv show but then we constantly keep changing the channel.
This is what I want you to start "practicing" (my favorite action). I want you to start catching yourself when you're mind has taken over with random thoughts. Just slow down from what you're doing/thinking and notice/reflect. What are you thinking and why? Are your thoughts ones creating the feeling of worry, fear (anger, sadness, envy) happiness, joy, or excitement? Are they serving you in that moment? If the answer is no, then begin to work on stopping the thoughts to where all you hear is quiet. You hear nothing. You may not be able to do this for very long at the beginning but I want you to try it and then notice what you feel. Is there a shift? In that moment do you have peace, joy, happiness while you wash your face, brush your teeth, shower, or have that cup of coffee or tea or anything you do as part of your routine? How often do you want to feel this shift? Based on your answer, keep practicing by noticing/reflecting on your thoughts and then feel the shift which will last longer because you are slowing down instead of going so damn fast and letting your mind take over. Take the time to look back, even if it was just a second ago, and then decide what you want to do next!
Reflect On What You Listen to and Then...
Oh, now this is my favorite! What do you like to listen to? Music? What kind? I like all kinds: Hip Hop, R&B, Smooth Jazz, Modern Jazz, Oldies/Old School and Gospel. I've noticed that when I listen to it, any negative feelings or angst I'm feeling goes away when I turn on that music. It can be almost anything that helps me to slow down from going so damn fast and feel the way I want to feel. I've recently learned that when I want to really focus, I'll tune into listening to one instrument playing, at a time. It helps we stay connected to the music instead of letting my thoughts run wild. The other focus point is just listening to the words. This is when my trusty Gospel music comes in like RIGHT THIS MOMENT as I'm typing. I'm listening to I Need Your Glory by Earnest Pugh. Boy does it get me into the right mood to focus, reflect and, overall, just feel GOOD feelings. Damn, Gospel music is powerful. LOL! I'm reflecting right this second on when I'm on the treadmill running and listening to it. You'd think no one else was around me because I'm singing, moving my hands all around, shaking my shoulders, pointing to the air for Him, clapping, and just feeling so DAMN good and all things POWERFUL. It's the best feeling in the world when you're in your head that way and no one else can share that particular space with you. It's like no one is invited to the party but you yet you have so much happiness and excitement in you going on as though all your friends and family are right there partying with you. It's that feeling that you just know others would want to be at your party too. Do you get what I'm saying?! You ever have those moments because you're slowing down and just truly living in the moment with your good feelings? If you want even more of those feelings, then slow down and ask yourself "Do I need personal nourishment right now" and if your response to yourself is, 'YES", and music is on your menu, then turn it on, focus, and FEEL, the way you truly want to feel...GOOD. Okay so you're probably wondering, if you've been keeping up with my posts, "Kenya, what is personal nourishment and a personal nourishment menu?!" Okay, let me go ahead and cover this right now.
Develop and Leverage Your Personal Nourishment Menu
Let me give you a little coach(me)/coachee (client) scenario that gets to developing a personal nourishment menu. One way to use this is if my client says “I can’t stop eating! It’s like I’m never satisfied!”
ME: There you are about to go to the refrigerator or the cupboard for a snack, there’s no judgment here, I want you to simply get curious, what are you feeling or what are you craving?
ME: Try filling in this statement: “I feel ____________________ because / when ____________. I want ____________________.”
ME: Good. Thank you for that. Now let’s find a way to get you what you want without self-destruction. I wonder, what are some non-edible nourishing ways to meet your emotional needs or cravings?
ME: Let’s create what I call a Personal Nourishment Menu. This helps with fulfilling cravings for pleasure, relaxation, adventure and/or sweetness in your life. It starts with recognizing that you deserve to experience pleasure. You deserve to relax. You deserve to have adventures! You deserve sweetness. You deserve peace, joy and happiness!
Then I share some of the items on my menu and have my client brainstorm their own on the “My Personal Nourishment Menu” handout that I provide to then. Here are some of mine and others that can be leveraged:
· Music (listen and/or sing)
· Laughter (Comedy)
· Deep conversation
· Deep breathing or 5-5-7 Breathe Technique (ask me more about it)
· Massage (use handle held one, neck and back one or go get professional one)
· Movement: (Dance, Yoga, Run, Lift Weights, Walk... How do you like to move?)
· Sensual pleasure :)
· Green drink
· Full glass of water
What would be on your menu? Once you develop, you have a menu for when you're craving pleasure and satisfaction. Your welcome ;)
Okay not only is it important to have this personal nourishment menu developed, but it's most important that you leverage it. So here is what I want you to do. Start to notice/reflect on your mind and/or body, thoughts or feelings (even cravings) that really aren't in alignment with what you want and/or who you are and that impact "who you are being." Then pull out your menu and choose one and act on it immediately. For example, if music is the easiest and effective item from your menu that you can access in the moment, then turn it on or just sing. If neither are an option, because of what you're doing or who you're around, then go to the one that you can do no matter where you are or what you are doing. Can you guess the one? Yes that's right, deep breathing. It is the magic one that helps you to slow down instead of going so damn fast, and can shift any feelings and even cravings, believe it or not. It's a fail proof technique for relaxation and improving stress levels as well. I will encourage that one day and night to practice day and night for your good! One thing to take away from what I'm sharing is that there is always an alternative solution to what you are so used to doing, or feeling if not positive. It's knowing what your alternatives are (menu) and choosing one instead.
I hope this helps as you start to slow down to reflect and do something different than you normally do which is go so damn fast. Then if I can encourage you to go a step further, it will be to write down your reflections from that day. Not only what you did but what you did differently. It would start off "Dear Tammy, you..."
If what I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, then I welcome you to leave a comment below or reach out to me for a free consultation to get help in an area of your life or a change/transformation you want to begin next year!
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