Working in the film industry often leads me to quite the unbalanced life. Sometimes, I work a normal 40 hour work week. Sometimes, let’s just say it’s a few hours more. In the crunch periods of a given film, I’m lucky if I can get 3 meals in and 6 hours of sleep. Recently, I’ve been in one of these “crunchy” times. Coming home only to shower, sleep, and see Scout. Don’t get me wrong, I signed up for this gig. I love the films that we produce and I’m proud to be on the team. But lately, I’ve felt completely out of whack. I’ve felt lethargic, sluggish, out of touch with my body, my spirit, my mind. I felt negative and overwhelmed.
I had to reevaluate why. I know given what I just said, it should be obvious. Oh, maybe I don’t feel well because I just eat whatever food I can find in between meetings. Or my body aches because I’ve been at my computer and sitting in meetings. When thinking about my day-to-day, the problem seems obvious. It wasn’t for me at first to be honest. I got caught up so much in the whirlwind of it all that it took me a second to actually realize, “I’m in the chaotic part of the schedule. My life is not always like this. This isn’t what my normal looks like.” It’s almost embarrassing how long something so obvious took to cross my mind but here we are. What took me even longer was the solution.
I realized that on my days off, I was trying to force myself to get all the “to do” items taken care of but wasn’t taking a minute for myself. Or if I was taking that minute, the guilt was overwhelming. I was hard on myself. I was frustrated and disappointed in myself because I didn’t have the energy to do what I needed to do. All I could do was sit down with Scout for a few minutes after scarfing down left over pizza and getting some extra sleep. I love getting things done, the feeling of accomplishment is great, don’t get me wrong. But I was forgetting what comes first.
I feel my very best when I have spent some time to intentionally connect. Connect with my mind, my feelings, my body, my spirit.
I started reading Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson. I mean, I just started this. I’m not very far into it and I’m already recommending it. It’s all about balance and being connected with the very things that I was completely untethered.
So, I went back to my roots. I have always enjoyed taking time in the morning to sit down with a cup of coffee, my devotional, my journal, my bible, and something inspiring. When I start my morning with these items, my whole day is set up for success. I’m lighter. I feel more free. I’m more motivated. I feel even more inspired to take care of myself.
What’s in my toolbox currently is: Savor by Shauna Niequist. I’m recording my thoughts in a leather bound journal. I’m finding new meaning in my new Message bible. I’m inspired by Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson. And I’m finding more effective way to live well with The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endess Demands by Lysa TerKeurst.
When I connect with myself and with God first thing in the morning, I feel centered the rest of the day. I love sipping my cup of coffee while I look at the Word in a new way. Better yet, I love being outside while I write my thoughts in my journal. To feel the sun’s warmth and to breathe the fresh air puts me even more in touch with myself and I’m better able to tap into my resources.
Of course, Scout is there too.
Really though, it’s about what’s right for you. The most important part is listen to the signs, the warning signals. If I had a headache, I think: “have I eaten?” “have I had enough water?” “have I been looking at the computer screen for too long?” “do I need more sleep?” Our bodies, our minds, our spirits, they tell us what we need. It’s just up to us to listen, process it, and get what we need.
I think that sometimes, our hearts and spirits are overlooked. I was feeling negative, out of touch, out of control. It wasn’t as easy as a solve as getting rid a headache (which isn’t always easy either). When my soul feels off kilter, that’s not such a simple fix. The biggest problem was I was ignoring the signs. I kept going, 100 miles an hour. It’s okay to give myself that break. It’s okay to give yourself that break. It’s okay to schedule that in for an hour a day. For me, it’s best in the morning so I can start my day off on the right foot. For you, it may be meditating right before bed. It’s what’s right for you. Busy doesn’t always mean successful. Being excessively busy, busy, busy actually sets you up for failure. For things to be harder. I don’t know about you but I’m all about smooth sailing and making the course a little easier to navigate.
If that means starting my morning with what feeds my soul, then that’s what I’m going to do. Being connected and strong is only a positive. It is never a negative.
In Pretty Happy, Kate Hudson writes:
“We are all body smart. We all have the capacity and the potential to nurture this intuitive relationship with our bodies, calm our minds, and become empowered to steer our lives in the direction of our dreams. To me, that’s what living smart is all about.”
Trust me, I’m still figuring this out. How to achieve balance on a daily basis both when I’m working 9-6 and when I’m working a bit more. How to love others but also to not forget to love myself as well. To keep it all together. To live well.
It’s baby steps. For me, it starts with a quiet time in the morning. That may evolve, be added to. All I know is that I’m ready to make myself a priority and that decision feels pretty good. What about you? Are you ready? I dare you.