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Sacred Ingredients for a Good Day

I am learning that my schedule is sacred. When I put the expectations or demands of the world before my own needs I find myself chasing the tail of projects, jumping from one thing to the next, and never feeling really satisfied. Never capturing that feeling of accomplishment for a job well done. When I look outside for my validation, for my approval, I am left unsatisfied and always seeking more. 

Yesterday, both my partner and I did this. He worked through lunch and I missed my midday walk, which in the grand scheme of things are small shifts in the day. We answered emails, attended meetings, and read more material. I was incredibly productive and I’m sure he was as well. The thing is, we didn’t feel productive. We felt used up at the end of the day. We felt exhausted and run down. And by the time we got to dinner we were snapping at each other and crabby. Which happens some days but when typically our disagreements are over which type of music to listen to or if we want cocktails or something more simple with our meal, this felt off. 

I am learning from my spouse, he is phenomenal at being patient in the storm of emotions. He weathers the anger and waits until all is calm to begin conversation again. Me – not so much. I am the storm. But not yesterday, yesterday I stayed silent. It was as if my mind totally went blank, and not in a vacant way but as if it were opening. Part of me wants to blame him and his influence – after 12 years, these things happen. Pretty soon we’ll start looking like our dog too, which isn’t terrible as he is a handsome puppy. All the same, I blame him and I blame meditation. This taking time for myself is a key to the alchemy of my everyday bliss.

I also j’accuse the lack of time in nature and walking for the instigation of our disagreement. Not that every other day we are or I am perfect. On days when I keep my schedule I find myself feeling more… like myself. I feel like the person I want to be, not like a ship in a storm blown in whatever the direction the wind shifts next. I feel at ease and in my skin. I feel settled, whole, and patient. 

I’m grateful my mind went blank and opened up in conflict, it kept me from saying things that were unhelpful or worse, harmful. It also gave me the gift of feeling like I learned something instead of like I regret something I said or how I treated my partner, whom I love very much. It has given me the gift of feeling really good about the situation and how we handled it together. We prepared the meal mostly in silence, ate (lobster bisque), and I poured myself a champagne cocktail, and then we talked. And after we took care of our own needs, we commiserated and shared our challenges, I just felt worlds better. And today thinking back on it, I feel like I learned something.

I learned that placing anyone’s needs before my own runs me down and leaves me feeling depleted. Making time for myself gives me the energy I need to give to others. When I sacrifice what I need for someone or something else, we both suffer – the quality of my work suffers because I am suffering. My routine is sacred, the lessons I have learned over years of trial and error are valuable. The things I need to feel cared for are midday walks, healthy lunches with fresh ingredients, time to meditate, and time to write. When I make time to do these small things, I feel accomplished, fulfilled, and whole, and I have all I need to reinvest in myself, my family, my work, and the world. 

What do you need to feel nourished? What parts of your day are sacred to your sanity?

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