Lessons From The Universe
I am a thinker. An over thinker. A planner. An organiser. And if I’m being really honest, someone that spends around 80% of her time stressed out. It’s not ideal, especially as I’m pregnant and everyone is telling it’s bad for the baby.
The Universe has decided it’s time to teach me a few things in last week or two and I thought it might be useful to share the lessons with you, in case you are also the overthinking/stressed out type.
It’s nice to have some company.
Motivation cannot be forced
I have learnt this in a big way this week. After years of trying as hard as I could to come up with ideas, be creative, sit at my desk until I had finished every last thing, I had the most brilliant idea I have perhaps ever had (she said, modestly) after a week of doing absolutely minimal work.
“Great,” I hear you say. “That’s fine for you, but what about the rest of us who can’t simply do nothing and wait for the ideas to appear?”
In that case, I’d recommend trying to think about what you’re working on for a short time and then changing your focus entirely. I believe that the brain is excellent at working on things “in the background” if you like, and stopping thinking about something can be 10x more effective than slogging away over it.
Give it a try!
Hit that planning sweet spot
I spent a stressed out week last week, constantly wondering what to feed my vegetarian uncle who was visiting. I hadn’t planned ahead and it drastically affected my enjoyment of the week.
Rather than beat myself up about how I’d handled it, I spent the weekend getting super organised, planning out meals, writing a really thorough shopping list and stocking the kitchen with all our favourite things, so that when my in-laws arrived yesterday, I was feeling prepared and a lot more in control.
When I have lots of back to back visitors, it can feel as though time is a at a premium and I don’t have much opportunity to organise things as we go, so when I leaned into my need to get it all ready, I really benefited. No more flying by the seat of my pants!
Be honest with myself about what I need
In between our two sets of recent visitors, I had 3 days to myself and I used them to maximum effect. It was really necessary for my mood and my mental health, not to sound too dramatic.
I wrote a list of all the things I fancied doing and ticked them off one by one. I didn’t put any pressure on myself to do them all, but I found that by Monday, when I dutifully drove to the airport again, I had done all but one of the 30 things I had scribbled down. I had socialised, I had eaten great food, I had taken myself out for walks, to the beach, taken photos, done some work, spoken to most of my family, shopped, pampered myself and I felt as though my stress levels were back down at zero again. I had dubbed the idea “The Epic Weekend of Self Care” with a client who had made a plan to get her self care back on track a couple of weeks ago, and giving mine that title made it more fun and important.
I gave myself EXACTLY what I needed for 76 hours, and was able to be entirely “selfish” because I was on my own, which only happened because I was honest about what I needed in that moment.
Give myself exactly what I need
Didn’t I just cover that? Well, sort of.
As well as the magic 76 hours of self care (the feeling wasn’t going to last forever after all), I realised that I needed to be more proactive about taking what I need, when here are people staying in our house.
My gut instinct told me that if I could have my first coffee of the day in peace, whilst I journaled (as I do every morning) and have 5 minutes chat with my husband at the end of the day before we turned out the lights (as we do every night) then I would feel much calmer. I had to laugh. We’re talking a combined total of about 20 minutes! That was really the shift I needed to make?
My gut instinct said “yup.”
So I tried it. I sat and had coffee in a quiet place, with my journal. I didn’t apologise for not being with everyone, I didn’t feel guilty. I let myself enjoy that time which connects me to myself and allows me to wake up slowly in a way that feels good to me. Not everyone does the same thing, but it doesn’t stop it having value for me.
And in making time for our short chat in the evening, I feel more connected to my husband, despite the hustle and bustle of a busy house and lots of plans.
All of these lessons were small nudges received and listened to. I have no idea how many times the universe has tried to teach me them in the past, but for some reason, I was open to them this week. They’re mainly linked to having visitors and being tired of feeling overwhelmed. This makes a lot of sense for me, because we have a lot of visitors and I’ve always seen visits as a time time of fun AND personal sacrifice. Yeah, we’ll make good memories as people are on their holidays, but we’ll sleep a lot less, spend a ton of money and have very little time the two of us. It had to change.
So that’s my week. I really think that listening in to what my gut instinct was saying gave me all the answers, without having to ask my Mum/husband/friends what to do and because they so deeply feel like the right things to do, I don’t feel guilty about creating a few boundaries.
I just need to refrain from “beating myself up” for not doing it sooner.