Is there a method to your madness?
Most of us have various approaches and techniques we apply to our lives and the service we offer in the world. Have you ever given any thought to the essential ingredients in your personal formula?
Maybe, the thought of having a formula feels restrictive to you, like you are lacking in spontaneity or stuck in habitual patterns. This might be true. Then it’s even more important that you breakdown the parts of your formula. Maybe, it’s time to concoct a new potion.
Think about your personal process when it comes to living your daily life. Are there certain practices that help you feel grounded, inspired, and ready to take on your day? If you miss a step in this process, do you feel out of sorts? Do the ingredients need to be added in the same order or does your formula work as long as nothing is missing? Is there room for spontaneity ~ the introduction of something new to the mix?
Room for Tweaking the Recipe
I have long lived my life by somewhat rigid guidelines. I find activities or exercises that work for me ~ things that help me feel good and enhance my productivity. But, I’ve found that this has sometimes left me feeling like a slave to my own standards. It took a long time to see that I could create a new formula to live by ~ I could write a new recipe.
My fear was that if I stepped out of the confines of my highly crafted personal process, I would somehow lose control and everything would go to hell in a hand basket. What I didn’t’ realize is that my formula had become my poison.
There was a time when I would rise at 5am so I could engage in meditation with Reiki for 30 minutes before I headed out for my 90-minute walk. I drank the same smoothie everyday and prepared the same healthy lunch and dinner with little variation. There wasn’t a spare moment when it came to my work tasks. Outside of my self-care and the care of my children, every single second was spoken for and there was always something to be accomplished on my list of things to do.
I’ll tell you, I grew very tired of the groundhog days I had carved out for myself. My spirit longed for a sense of adventure, a segue into the unknown, a fresh moment. But, I didn’t know how to make that shift without losing momentum.
When it’s time for the formula to change, it’s going to do that whether we participate or not.
Hitting the Wall
Eventually, I couldn’t keep it up anymore. All that had inspired me toward integrating these wellness practices and organizational structures in my life was suddenly nowhere to be seen. My intentions had been good and they ended up paving the path to my own personal hell.
The antidote had stopped working.
I used to talk about how I would never step out of my personal wellness regime because I felt so good as a result. If I have learned anything through this experience it is this ~ never say never.
My rigid routine had very little wiggle room and eventually led me away from self-connection. It didn’t matter if my body was screaming for rest and my mind was aching for a break. It had to be done no matter what. For a while, this disciplined approach felt good…until it didn’t.
The essential ingredients in this formula included discipline, restriction, control, and goal setting. It tasted horrible.
When I finally couldn’t force it down any longer ~ even with my nose plugged ~ I swung to the other end of the spectrum. I stopped it all. Between the scolding of my own mind and the loss of the benefits I had experienced, that approach didn’t work well either. But, I tried it out for a while just to be sure.
Through this process, the organic ingredients of a new formula became evident.
Here’s my recipe for daily consumption:
A solid base of self-compassion
A heaping helping of inspiration
Intuitive guidance to taste
Physical movement as directed by the body
Quiet space to hear the heart
Courage to follow the inner wisdom
Creative expression that is ready to come forth
Honoring of any need in the moment
One or more good belly laughs
Connected moments with loved ones
Meaningful contribution in the world
A good pat on the back
This formula can be ingested in a variety of forms so it leaves space for experimentation and the unexpected. I have come to really love a great surprise!
Personalize your formula so you are giving yourself what you need and desire first and foremost. Let it have room to breathe and to alter as required to serve your highest good. Take your own medicine everyday before you seek to serve anyone else. If you keel over, make a new batch.
Let’s get started!
What are the essential ingredients in your personal formula for life and service?