The Start of 2020 has been an absolute whirlwind for me. A fabulous whirlwind, I can tell you now. This year I think I might have learnt more about myself than ever before.
During the last months of 2019, I was feeling somewhat low in energy, and now this doesn't happen very often for me, I am usually filled with enthusiasm and high energy. After talking through everything with Lucian, who is my absolute rock in times of uncertainty or unease, I could see things a little clearer.
"Because at the end of the day, we are all just figuring ourselves out."
I think it is so easy during these periods to almost put up a block to the world out of some sort of attempted protection to your inner state. I read a lot of books, and I know that this is not the way to deal with challenges, but I do know that it is an easy solution when you feel low, and it does to some extent work. When reflecting on why I was feeling this way I realised I had stopped doing the things that make me feel grounded, I had stopped using the tools I know work in my little toolbox of life.
Everyone has a little toolbox, and everyone knows the things that they do in times of stress or uncertainty. This could be a run, a massage, a yoga class, seeing your friends, family or a combination of many things. This year I have come to understand that my non-negotiables in life.
My toolbox contains the following:
- Wake up time (between 5-6 am)
- Morning Pages
- Morning Yoga Practice (30min-1hour)
- Meditation (at least 10 mins)
- Drinking-Water (as much as I can!)
- Evening Pages
I made a promise to myself that I would ensure every day I followed these rituals and oh my goodness has it made a difference. By practising these things, I can work out what areas of my life I am not enjoying and what I would like to create more of.
My most significant lessons of 2020 so far:
1. Self-love is an inside job.
2. Don't get distracted.
Let me break these down for you, as I see them. Now I know at first glance these must seem glaringly obvious, but in January 2020, I got to know myself a lot closer in these areas.
Self-love is an inside job.
Self-love is hard, it really is. I recognise that for some people it is so easy, but for others, it can be harder. Through journaling and mediation, i discovered that I had a bit more work to do in this area. I am so very critical of myself both in work and personal life to the point where I can sometimes be the worst person to myself! Slowing down and allowing myself to feel good about work I was achieving or giving myself time to relax have all helped in exercising self-love. When I went to start my own company, I realised a huge void in that when I was producing incredible work I was waiting for the praise from my boss or other colleagues but i would never be satisfied with my own praise. I would never sit and think well-done Mary-Anne I would always be on to the next thing.
When you work for yourself, you don't really have anyone that is at the sidelines cheering you on congratulating you and pushing you forward, so you have to do it for yourself. This is hard if you are not used to it! SO... this is where my affirmation comes in; ".I love and believe in myself I can praise myself". I think where I am going with this "lesson" is that I hadn't realised how much I relied on others to feel a sense of worth or belonging. That's what I mean when I say self-love is an inside job. Regardless of whether you have the most incredible support group, I think working on being able to give yourself the same love, praise and affection you would give to others is such an important life skill.
Don't get distracted.
Social media is incredible in so many ways, but don't allow it to take you off track. In consuming so much fashion based content, I had started to take another route with my social media. I had become a fashion blogger, and while this was incredible to have brands that I had wanted to work with for years offer me collaborations, somehow it didn't feel right. I had seen what other incredible influencers were achieving with their channels and so I began to create very similar content and in doing so kind of lost my purpose lost my reason to create - which is why it felt so strange! I wanted to create a platform around self-development and had somehow ended up sharing a tonne of fast fashion content. So with this little lesson, i encourage you to check back in with your purpose, your reason for starting. Have you drifted off track at all? If so... It's your track - you can change it at any point.
I think this will be my life-long lesson I always want things yesterday. I recently listened to a great podcast with Gary Vee. He was talking about the fact that we think we don't have "time" we are so wrapped up in societies structure that we believe we need to be in a relationship by that date, a great job by this date, married and have babies by then. When, in fact, these constraints or timelines were so prominent in the years where we only lived to the age of 60. So back then, yes 30 was old; it was halfway through your life. Whereas now we live to way beyond that and who knows in 20 years time with medical advances we may be living far beyond the age of 100.
The message he was trying to land is...
YOU HAVE TIME - We do!
We do have time. So why the need to put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything together now. I now believe that a much better way of living is to focus on creating those tiny little steps over the course of years that will get us to where we want to be, rather than stressing over the fact that in a week we have not managed to achieve the impossible.
So for the first time EVER, I am being more patient and let me tell you one thing for sure, I don't think I have ever felt less pressure, less strain, less stress and I have definitely achieved more than ever before - which is strange. Which tells me one thing... a little patience really does go a long way.
So there you have it 2020 lessons so far:
- Self-love is an inside job.
- Don't get distracted.
If anything I have written has struck a chord with you, do let me know, I would love to hear from you.
Big Hearty Love,