The Simplification Shift

I’ve been fighting this for what feels like an eternity. To me, it meant that I couldn’t be myself if I chose this path. It felt restrictive, and yucky, and cliche. It meant that I had to fit into a cookie-cutter of what someone else dictated. Why? I have no idea, but that is what I thought. Until recently. Until about 3 months ago. Until I realized that DUH what I have been doing for 35-fucking-years clearly hasn’t worked in all the ways I had hoped, so maybe it was time for me to make a shift. Hmm, weird.

So I did. I chose to start making things simple. Some of them I thought would bore me to tears; they haven’t. Not yet any way. In fact, the small changes I have already made are proving to be intelligent and beneficial decisions on my part.

So, what do I mean by a “Simplification Shift”? I mean cutting out all of the shit in your life that you think you need, so you can make room for the things that are going to help you change your life for the better. It sounds super intimidating, I know. That’s why the other half to this is to also only dismantle a small number of things and then figure out exactly how to rework them into your life so that it makes more sense, not makes you more stressed out.

This all seems so vague, but instead of word vomiting all of it at once I’m going to break out the Simplification Shift throughout the month of February. Each week I’ll explore an area of life that can be simplified, or rather suggestions for you to do so. If I’ve learned nothing else on my own journey it’s that there is no one size fits all answer to ANYTHING. What works for me may not work for you. But, if something that has worked for me ignites something in you that you can use to better your situation, then I’ll call that a win for both of us.

Also, disclaimer before we dive in; while this may have shades of “minimalism” attached to it, that is NOT what this is about. I have also not been watching any of the Marie Kondo docu-series on Netflix so I won’t be using the phrase “sparks joy”. This is about self assessment, exploration, and action. On your terms, to get you one step closer to living your awesome. That’s it. It’s not fancy, it’s not flashy, but that’s the point. We put all this pressure on ourselves to be All The Things, ALL THE TIME. Aren’t you tired? I am. I’d rather focus what little energy I have left after all the other parts of my life take their share on what’s most important to me. If this sounds like you, stay tuned. There is so much more goodness to come!

S

Can I get a connection?

Is anyone else singing that damn One Republic song now? Do yourself a favor and make that song an Erectile Dysfunction advertisement by changing the word “Connection” to a word that starts with “E”

I’ll wait…

Now that you’re done laughing and have that song permanently ruined for you, the reason for this post is to talk about a word that seems to keep coming up for me in all areas of my life. That word is CONNECTION.

I have entered a time in my life in which I crave making deep and meaningful connections with people. I want to hear other people’s stories, I want to learn more about them, and I don’t want superficial experiences.

By nature I’m more of an introvert (in case you care to know) I’d rather hang out at home with my husband, kids, and dog then go out. I am overwhelmed by large crowds, tight spaces, and close contact with people I don’t know. I will share parts of myself with you with ease, but others it may take years for me to let you in because I just don’t know that I can trust you to that level. You can see how this need for deeper connection could be problematic.

All day long I exchange energy with my clients and the people that I have to interact with; from friendly patrons at the gym to the moms at preschool drop off. On the days that I work I am depleted of emotion and energy by the time I get home. It is a shitty situation for my kids those couple nights, but I pride myself in giving that part of myself whole-heartedly to my clients.

What I began to notice when we returned from vacation this year, was that we lacked connections with people outside of our 4 walls. We had just spent 2 weeks bouncing around and visiting with friends in the Midwest (from Indiana to Michigan, Ohio, to Arkansas) and I came home with a full heart. This was in June.

From June to November, we have hung out with people less times then I can count on one hand. By “hanging out” I mean engaging with intention with other people besides direct members of our family. Even writing that out loud is pitiful. The “we” is my husband and I as a couple. I engage with people everyday, but in the past few months I have mindfully and intentionally put myself in situations that are outside of my comfort zone yet a place to create conversation and connection with others.

As I embrace the transition of being a general population personal trainer and Jill-of-all trades to a Woman, Mother and Coach that serves women on their motherhood journeys specifically, I find that connection is more important to me then it ever has been before.

It’s easy for someone that has maybe a handful of people even reading this to say, but I don’t care if I only touch the life of one or two people. If it means that I have a connection and a deeper then just the surface experience with those individuals then what I set out to do has been successful.
As I go back to singing my new version of “Connection” I’m taking on today as the person that I know I want to present to the world. A person that seeks connection with others, hears their stories, maybe shares some of her own, and allows for something greater then just a surface level experience take place.
Until next time Awesome Humans

S

Constant Evolution

Does anyone else ever feel like they are on roller coaster that they cannot get off? I feel like that has been life for a while. I feel like anyone that has known me for any amount if time possibly wonders if I’m ever going to actually get off the roller coaster and move forward in life. Like if ALL the shit I’m always spouting off about and the things I say I want to do/ achieve/ accomplish are ever going to actually happen or if I’m just completely blowing smoke up their ass. Realistically I doubt anyone actually thinks those things of ME specifically since as a species we’re 90% self involved, so we mostly don’t actually care what other people are up to, and even if other people did think these things of me then its really not any of my business anyway SO. Now that I’ve word-vomited all that, lets get down to the real stuff, shall we?

I just re-read my initial post of what I want Actively Living Awesome to be. I’ve actually written that particular post about 100 times, but that iteration is in my opinion the best one. I’ve stalled out in building an online community for a host of reasons, including but not limited to- not knowing how to differentiate myself, LOATHING all things social media, having a really big picture idea but not narrowing it down, wanting to do too many things at once, and sucking at all things time management so everything I start I don’t finish. Man, that list is longer then I thought it would be. Truth? Maybe not.

I decided to make an investment in myself back in August, and THIS TIME I’m going to actually do something with it. Like, really. I purchased the Certified Pre/Post Natal Coaching certification through Girls Gone Strong and am finally deep into reading, processing, and eventually applying the information. But already, it’s not enough. Already I know, without a shadow of a doubt that this is the lane I am meant to travel in for the foreseeable future. This is where I WANT to live, and so it is where I know I will thrive as I push on. I’m not blind or ignorant to the fact that there will be challenges, set backs, and “God Damn Its” along the way, but it is so refreshing to not be feeling wishy-washy about something I want.

I have to stop being afraid of what others are going to say and think about the work that I want to do and how I want to choose to show up in the world. I’m not for everyone (Lord knows I never have been) and quite frankly I’ve spent so much time trying to garner approval from people that don’t even fucking matter that in the process I have been in a tailspin for almost 5 years. Fuck, no wonder I’m dizzy.

I am going to tell my story, the way I have lived it, and in doing so I’m going to offer ways to help other women, especially the mamas not have to experience things the way I have and hopefully allow them the strength and encouragement to see past the bullshit in their way to achieve their most Awesome version of life. I’m not always going to be politically correct, I’m going to have opinions that are different from what’s popular and what’s mainstream and I’m not going to filter them. I’m going to swear and not apologize for it, and I’m going to own up to my end of this place in this world regardless of how that is perceived by anyone else. I’m tired, I’m dizzy, I’m sore, and I vow to myself to show up for anyone else out there that feels this way too sometimes. We are all in this together, and somewhere along the way it feels like that has been forgotten. It’s “us against them” and then we wonder why we’re still sitting on that proverbial roller coaster, clicking up that hill for the 87 millionth time just wishing we could get off and do something else.

My car has pulled into where people get on and off, I’m getting off and I’m exploring the rest of this amusement park. Hopefully I’ll see you all around. Later!
S