On my commute this week, I listened to an episode of the Hey, Girl. Podcast with host Alex Elle and her guest, Nicki Radzely. I have to be in a very specific mood to listen to these interviews because they’re so deep and they bring out all the feelings. This episode was no exception and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I took some notes to share with you – so, teensy spoiler alert below if you plan to listen.
In each episode, Alex asks her guest how she is currently practicing self-care. Nicki had a lot to say about how quiet time and spa days didn’t really work for her. She might get a few minutes of happiness from a mani/pedi, but happiness isn’t what she’s after. She’s seeking contentment and striving to do everything, from making a cup of tea to sending her kids to school, with as much thought as possible. Maybe you can relate?
Intentional living = Contentment
Nicki quoted Oprah or Iyanla Vanzant, she wasn’t sure (if you can find the direct quote, please share!) saying, “Whatever you’re doing, you’re practicing.” So true, right?!
Whatever you’re practicing, you will get better at…but that’s not always a good thing. If you’re practicing being ungrateful and skipping workouts, staying up late and being impulsive, you can get really good at those things in the same way you can get really good at practicing eating whole foods that make you feel your best, and being in the moment, telling your loved ones how much they mean to you and exercising, etc. You get the idea…Every action you take and every thought you have is practice for your next action and your next thought. Which is cool because it lets you know you have all the time you need to get better at things…but it’s also a reality check, because you could just keep wasting time on things that don’t serve you…you choose.
So much of practicing is unlearning habits and ‘untelling’ stories that make you feel less than. Alex talks a lot about “doing the work,” and to me, “the work” is sometimes tied up exclusively in the undoing process. That’s because mindset shifts don’t happen overnight…you have to practice positive self-talk, making time for exercise, getting to bed at a decent hour, etc.
You are entirely up to you.
As I was listening, I made a mental list of all the not-so-good things I’ve been practicing lately, and then I thought of some ways I can turn them around. Things like,
- Eating sugar when every craving hits vs. eating a protein-rich meal to beat the craving (works 9 times out of 10!)
- On social media, endless scrolling and incessant notification checking vs. removing notifications from my phone and being super clear on what I want to post and when
- Taking things personal in friendships and relationships vs. knowing that the right people and opportunities will always find their way to me (because they always do!!)
- Falling into the murky comparison trap vs. making lists in my journal of all the things for which I am grateful
And this is just my short list…and these shifts take time. On one hand, I show myself grace for being a work in progress. On the other hand, I hold myself accountable to healthy eating, moving daily and resting. I do both simultaneously as I continue to work on myself a little more each day. Because I am entirely up to me.
I’m definitely adding this list-making activity to my journaling. I want to practice more of the feel-good stuff, ya know? I’m super ‘Type-A,’ so making lists makes it all more doable for me.
What about you? What’s on your list?
What are you practicing, for better or for worse?