Late in 2017 I made two big life changes. I switched to working remotely fulltime and moved into a new town. At that moment it was just me, my laptop and some Wi-Fi alone in a new apartment. With a lack of friends or a local network, I found myself with a LOT of free time and struggling to feel a sense of fulfillment. My day-to-day schedule was beginning to look rather monotonous. Wake up - eat - work - eat - work - eat - maybe a walk or yoga/Netflix/read - sleep - repeat… It was a bit grim. Sound familiar?
While I had a basic morning routine in place, it was more a general to-do list to start the day. All well and good, but nothing that actually made me feel good. I clearly needed something more. So, I dug through my old journals and pieced together those habits that in the past had been present when life had flow and felt vibrant.
It was then that I came up with three key routines that I began to structure my day around. In doing so, I realized that as long as I made each one of these a priority (outside of the basic “life things” like work, brushing my teeth, and trying not to eat over the kitchen sink), I found a sense of fulfillment. I could go to bed at night feeling like I was more than just a cog in some big machine. And because I love words, especially alliterations, I made them rhyme. Here they are:
MOVE - MAKE - MEDITATE
MOVE - Not necessarily “exercise,” because that word can be loaded, but movement. Choosing to actively engage the body in a way that is inviting, feels good, and reminds you of how amazing it is to be in a human body. No requirement on how long, or what it needs to look like. This is about feeling good physically and connected to your body in a positive way. To “MOVE” might look like…
Walking - Yoga - Dancing - Hiking - Biking - Gardening
MAKE - Creativity takes so many forms and it is certainly not a question of whether or not you’re a “creative person.” We all have the ability to bring something to life that wasn’t there before, no expertise needed. To “MAKE” might look like…
Cooking - Drawing - Practicing a musical instrument - Coloring in a coloring book
MEDITATE - Yes, I recognize that for some you may want to brush this off right away because you’ve already tried sitting quietly cross-legged and it really didn’t go so well. But meditation does not have to look like the typical image that comes to mind. This part of the 3M’s is not about fulfilling an image of mediation, but about becoming aware of your thoughts — pure observation. That’s it!
Noticing your thoughts, the repetitive words or themes that come up, and then discovering the way these thoughts impact your view or opinion of yourself. This is especially important on those not-so-good days. By observing the thoughts that are defining the way you experience you day, you can then begin to create distance from those thoughts. Perhaps even realizing that the thoughts you held onto don’t have nearly as much power as you thought they did. To “MEDITATE” might look like…
Journaling - Therapy - Calling a trusted person to vent to - Going for a run or another movement practice that clears your mind - Free-writing - and yes, sitting cross-legged on a pillow with your eyes closed might even work too!
If you or a young person in your life has experienced one of Generation Changes programs, you’re probably familiar with my approach to leadership beginning with the concept of self-care. In my experience, these “3 M’s” are an awesome way to rock your self-care practice. I hope you find them as helpful as I have, and I would love to hear about your version of the 3 M’s too!
Big love my friends,