A few years ago, I watched as many of my friends who owned their own businesses ran themselves ragged. I watched as they over-worked themselves and moved further away from the benefits of being an entrepreneur. I thought to myself, “this is not right. Why be in business for yourself if you’re going to sacrifice your quality of life?”
I decided then and there to better understand why many of my fellow entrepreneurs make this sacrifice.
I’ve come to see this issue as bigger than an out-of-whack life-work balance. I see it as a happiness crisis.
We tend to look for happiness in all the wrong places. We leave dysfunctional jobs or relationships only to recreate the same dysfunction all over again. We give our all to something that we think will bring us joy, and in the end we just tire ourselves out.
The want for happiness is a great engine for change. Yet, when we know we’re unhappy and don’t know how to create the happiness we seek, that engine can stall out.
Everyday I see how our ideas about success hoodwink us. Because as much as we think that reaching a certain level of success is going to bring us the happiness we seek –it’s just not.
I’m on a mission to support people in growing their whole lives in ways that bring them TRUE happiness.
And TRUE happiness comes when we learn to care for ourselves, each other and the world. This is the next major social revolution – and it’s going to happen at both an individual and collective level.
4 Creative + Inspiring Things You Can do to Care for Those You Love (Including YOURSELF!)
According to Caroline Myss, “the self” that we now talk about is an idea that emerged in the nuclear age. By the 1950’s, psychology and psychoanalysis had become accepted as a way of thinking about people and their behavior. In turn, the rich inner life that we all experience became just as real as the outer life we live.
This new way of thinking about “the self” ushered in the birth of self-care! Up to the 1950’s people didn’t talk about self-care. They didn’t think about balancing their everyday life demands with things that foster their well-being. Fast forward to today, and self-care is a multi-billion dollar industry and an everyday conversation.
I think that the conversation about self-care leaves out one major thing: and that’s inspiration. Inspiration is more than just happening upon a cleaver idea. It expresses our creativity and forges a path to real change in ourselves in our world. When you’re inspired, you feel alive!
Ideas about self-care are mostly directed at how to eat, exercise, or think positively and less toward how to get inspired. Yet, how can we feed our spirit and nurture our soul without inspiration?
Feeding your soul is self-care. Self-care is all about honoring and caring for yourself in ways that matter most. When you’re able to practice self-care your life becomes less of one huge to-do list and more of a field of abundant meaning and joy.
So to kick off the self-care revolution, here are 4 easy, rich, and deep ways YOU can bring more inspiration into your life.
Write a poem about someone you care for.
Inspiration is within reach most of the time. So, cozy up to your inner-bard and write a poem about your partner, your child or a good friend. See if you can capture what you love about them in this expressive form. If you brainstorm adjectives, qualities or feelings you associate with this person, you’ll quickly create phrases that inspire you.
Notice the tiny, beautiful details and riff on them.
Say you’re sitting at home or taking a walk through your neighborhood. Look around you, and free associate with what you see. For example, if you see thin blades of long grass growing by a wall, maybe they remind you of a time when you saw a piece of beautiful graffiti on a wall with grass just like that. Perhaps the grass near the wall reminds you of the eerie beauty and loneliness of neglected things. Let yourself wander into your thoughts. You’ll be amazed where you wind up!
Create the most luxurious and perfect experience, FOR YOU.
If your version of self-care is to take a bath, a walk in the woods or get a massage, then it’s time to take it up a notch. Make a decadent, fantastic, and yes inspired experience for YOURSELF. Try new things. Mix and match your experience. Take a bubble bath with candlelight, wine, chocolate, the smell of jasmine and opera music. Or, walk in the woods bundled in soft fabrics singing a song to yourself and noticing how the light hits things.
Give an impromptu gift that will make someone’s day.
- Tap into your inspiration and find something – or make something – that will let another person know how special they are to you. When you think about bringing pleasure to someone else’s life, you naturally think creatively and playfully about what’s in the world and how to use it. And even better, when you give a gift your heart opens up and you feel satisfied on a deeper level.
It’s too easy to let days slip by where we’re distracted from what matters most. So challenge yourself to spend an hour each week doing one of these activities. It won’t take long before you’ll feel more inspired and your spirit will feel more nourished.