This is me in 2014, at our very first-ever HeartStories event. In some ways, it feels like an entire lifetime ago and in many ways, that’s true. Especially for me, and the person I’ve become on this journey. I’ve worked harder, longer hours than I ever dreamed possible. I have sacrificed more than I ever thought I would. It certainly feels I’ve learned more in the last six years since I began HeartStories, than I had my entire life, up until that point. In fact, “learning” was something I would have put in a bucket of “have to do’s” instead of the bucket of “get to do’s”, like I do now. Now, I crave more time to invest in learning and personal development.
In fact, so much so, that yesterday, it showed up in a perfect collision of several different inputs into my life.
You may remember that at one of the AC3 meetings earlier this year, when asked my “word for the year”, without having thought through it in advance, I said “My word is ‘rest’ even though it seems in perfect contract to where my business and my life appear to be”. That word is definitely materializing in the choices that I’m making for myself this year already. I’m not doing any less work, or working less hard, but I’m resting more. I’m giving myself more room to breathe. I’m giving myself more grace and being more intentional about paying attention to self-care practices.
I’m paying attention to people, practices, and things that feed my soul.
This past week, I began a 40 day practice with a feminine leadership coach I follow. It’s something I’ve needed to do for such a long time. She calls it a “slow start” practice, which is in precise conflict with the Crystal that has gotten me here this far – who is a “quick start”. Once I’ve decided to do a certain task or project, I jump in with both feet and get started. Don’t get in my way, we’re getting this thing done. So this 40 day practice is about slowing all that down a little bit to “create a more sustainable, less stressful, rhythm for my life – so I’ll have the strength, clarity, and stamina to take care of what and who I love, including myself.”
In church yesterday, while our pastor John was teaching about growth, he shared a verse from Hebrews that jumped right out at me. It’s so simple, and yet so difficult, for someone like me, who has a really hard time letting go of control, even long enough to reposition my grip and create a new plan. “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.” I heard it loud and clear:
Take a new grip, strengthen your body, put a plan in place so that even when you’re weak, you won’t fall.
Later in the afternoon, while driving across town to pick something up for our April 4th, Gather ‘Round GNO and I decided to continue listening to a video training by Julia Pimsleur who wrote the book, “Million Dollar Women – the essential guide for female entrepreneurs who want to go big”. Julia originally piqued my interest by promising that her training isn’t about more “hustle” more burning the midnight oil, but rather it’s about working smarter, learning to be better about delegating and “designing your freedom”. She spoke wisdom to my soul about working with more ease, not the kind of hustle that leads to burnout.
It’s like everything in my path is simultaneously whispering, “Rest.”
The “me” of the last six years of running HeartStories has been: go, go, go . . . get it all done and as fast as you can. Stay up late, get up early, whatever it takes. Blog every single weekday, without exception . . . all driven by my inner taskmaster who, by the way, is a very harsh judge. But this is the season I’m choosing to respond to that immature taskmaster inside as the wise woman I’ve become.
I’m learning to rest, not quit.
I get the sense that in this season, when everything seems to be needing your attention and there’s only so much you can give, there are probably some areas you could also benefit from learning to rest and not quit. Your marriage, your parenting, your work, your friendships, your finances, pursuing your passions. . . .
Take a new grip with your tired hands.
Strengthen your heart, your mind and your body.
Feed your soul.
to more love,