Often times, leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, coaches - really anyone driven by their work and desires for impact - blur the lines between work and obsession. I can say this, because I’ve done it many times in my life. It’s natural to dive deep when you feel excited and passionate about something. An unquantifiable inner charge sparks your every breath, and you can lose track of a multitude of other priorities in your life. So how does one stay committed to their dream, work ambitions, business growth, teaching scale, without losing themselves in the process?
I cannot claim to have all (or even most) of the answers, but I certainly can speak from my own experiences with self care, the theme of this month’s blog posts on Dream See Do. First off, there are tons of easily accessible resources, teachings, and practices in this arena. Many well known researchers have spoken and written on this topic. It’s also one of the major themes of Mindfulness, including Loving Kindness & Self Compassion, as heard in this meditation by Sharon Salzberg. One of our favorite organizations teaching the benefits and practices of this modality, the Center For Mindful Self-Compassion, trains teachers to educate others wonderful techniques for self compassion and by proxy, self care.
As for my own practice, I have learned a few key elements that help me conserve my energy, know when to use it, and in doing so fine more joy:
I find that perhaps the single most important thing I do (both at work and home) is to set boundaries in my relationships with others and myself. In a fair and honest manner, I work to communicate my needs to those in my life, while inviting input, suggestions, and desires from others. I give myself permission to set boundaries which give me time to relax, and do things for my own care and energy needs. There are certainly times when I am not able to fulfill these ‘promises’, but I strive to sustain them and derive many benefits in doing so. I truly believe that most things in life are not an emergency, and can be done in their ‘right time’. It’s more about using your time in a dedicated, efficient, and energetic fashion then just constantly ‘doing’.