In late 2011 I was slammed with an overwhelming amount of change. Although I was ready to be rid of it, change continued to follow me well into 2012. For those of you who have read this blog you are well aware that I had to close my studio, file for divorce, move and sell everything I owned to afford my divorce. Change, change, change.
Luckily with change comes major transformation. For me it was good transformation. It forced me to get back to basics, simplify and really enjoy the little things. I quickly gained an attitude of gratitude for the smallest of things. It was during this period that I realized how important my non-negotiables were – you know, those little contracts that you make for yourself but quickly give away?
Many of us, mainly women, give until we collapse. Our non-negotiables are the first thing we throw out the window in an effort to make others happy. So what exactly is a non-negotiable? How about spending 20 minutes everyday in meditation? How many of you have vowed to take that time for yourself only to give it away to someone else because their needs and demands quickly dictated your schedule?
Before I got divorced I had many non-negotiables that I never honored. I had obligations, appointments and commitments to others and those were more important. Problem is I had given so much to everyone else, there wasn’t much left of “me” when I came out on the other side. Here are some terrific non-negotiable ideas that I suggest everyone try, even if only a few, you owe it to yourself to take on at least one a week:
1) Meditation – learn to be still, quiet the mind and relax. Its hard for many of us to do but 5 minutes in quiet can change your life
2) Grounding – get outside, take a walk, but whatever you do, touch the earth. She supports us and recharges us. Put your feet in the grass, sit against a tree, talk to your garden. Trust me the plant and animal kingdom will thank you in more ways than one.
3) Ask for help – How many times have you been in a situation where you could really use help and someone offers…only for you to turn them down? People are notorious for declining help for fear of putting someone out. But there is no greater gift or reward than that of service to others. If they offer, accept.
4) Asking for water – How many times a day, especially in the summer, does someone say to you, would you like some water? Or how about something else to drink? This isn’t a big one, but if you are in someones home that you don’t know well, you may decline. Keep the invitation warm and learn to say yes.
5) Go to bed – Often we will stay up beyond what our bodies would like. We try to do just one more thing before bed to the point that our bodies want to collapse. Instead make it your non-negotiable that you are in bed by 10pm and no phones or electronics are allowed.
6) Eating right – Many people struggle with eating right, but many people eat the wrong things due to stress or anxiety. Instead make it your non- negotiable to use food as fuel so you feel great and less fatigued.
7) Exercise – I am a huge advocate for yoga. I have completely turned my schedule upside down to accommodate my yoga classes and my clients know this. It is an absolute non-negotiable for me and if you want an appointment during a class time, you won’t win. But isn’t it funny that exercise is often the first thing we give up because our schedules get too demanding? Non-negotiable, period.
8) Accepting kindness – this is a big one. Many of us are on auto pilot, never recognizing acts of kindness. One of my yoga instructors call’s it our “drive by reaction”. Hold an attitude of gratitude for all things big and small. One small act of kindness can completely turn your day around. Be grateful for kindness as it is a gift. Many people by default have become angry and negative. When someone is kind to you learn to accept this gift and be present. Stop what you are doing and hold a gracious heart; the more grateful you are, the more you will be grateful for.
Remember to be kind to yourself, don’t set yourself up for failure and honor the contracts with yourself first so that you have something to give to others that matters.
What are some of your non-negotiables?