“Wow, you’re so busy!”
That’s something I hear often from people – they catch my Instagram, see my teaching schedule, or we’ve just exchanged what’s going on in our lives. Take yesterday – I woke up at 5AM, taught four workout classes, engaged in a very productive three hour business meeting, and attended an amazing charity event hosted by Accel Lifestyle benefitting The Rose Houston. I finally sat down at 11:21PM, excited to finally write this piece, because you know what – these days I’m feeling more alive than ever.
There have been many points in the past where I haven’t been “as busy,” but I was simply exhausted, coasting through life, day in and day out, living someone else’s dream. Sound familiar?
This doesn’t necessarily have to refer to your professional situation, it can also relate to societal expectations of you. Personally, I’ve stayed unsatisfied in jobs for years, helping other people build something because I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted for myself. I stayed married long after I knew it wasn’t right for me because I didn’t want to upset the dream my husband (and our families) had of us staying in a “picture-perfect happy marriage.” I’ve stayed friends with toxic people because it was easier to just ignore drama than it was to confront it.
It was emotionally and mentally exhausting! I walked around with a wounded soul that I would try to patch with temporary band-aids. My heart was bleeding for something more, but I couldn’t see a different path, so I just kept walking aimlessly down the road I was already on. I was dead inside – I was a zombie.
Have you ever felt like a zombie? Like you’re actually sleeping when you walk around in life? Don’t really care where you’re going, can’t remember how long you’ve been walking. Don’t really see an end to the road, but it doesn’t matter much anyway because you don’t really have any other options. You ever feel exhausted by the end of the day and don’t really know why?
It’s because feeling dead inside drains you. Ironic, isn’t it?
Have you ever been driving somewhere and think, “How the hell did I get here? Did I run that red light? What street did I turn on?” Or maybe you’ve been walking somewhere, zoned out and completely passed where you were going. Ever think you might be living life that way, too?
“Where did the month go?” (Followed by the realization that there’s been no change.)
“Where did the year go?” (Once again…. no change.)
“Have I really been doing this for [x amount of time?]”
“I’m never going to have time to finish this.”
“I’ll start it eventually.”
Fulfillment is a practice and is not meant to happen overnight. It takes serious dedication to figuring out who you are to truly find fulfillment. Today, I’m going to share three simple things you can start right now to begin to discover a little bit more about yourself. Three things, that if continuously practiced, will help you avoid an internal Zombie Apocalypse.
Spend more time doing what feels right. Make tiny changes at first, and eventually you’ll get more comfortable making bigger changes. These small changes can look like:
Saying no to doing something if your body and mind need a break – and not feeling guilty about it.
Signing up for a new hobby you’ve been scared to try.
Forgiving someone or (eek) apologizing to someone.
Surround yourself with good people. So much of our time, thoughts, and energy can be easily wasted on emotional drama with short-sighted people. Think about it – how much time do you spend listening to people complain? How often do you catch yourself complaining to people? Ditch the emotional drama and negative thoughts. Find forward-thinkers. Forward-thinkers will not let you complain – they will help you seek a solution. If you want to envision the big picture, you have to surround yourself with like-minded people who are doing the same things you want to do. These people will:
Not let you drown in a problem, but rather help you find answers. (If you’re dwelling in a problem, they will call you out on it too!)
Build you up and support your dreams, even if they can’t exactly relate to it.
Give you honest and constructive feedback on what they know to be important to you (skill level, personal ethics, overcoming hurdles, etc.)
Practice being present. This is the most important of the three things to do. It will take consistency to really feel present in your own life. Take time each day to really figure out how you feel in a moment. Actually ask yourself, “How do I feel about what I am doing in this moment right now?” If you’re up for it, maybe ask yourself why you feel that way. Use your senses! Look around – what do things look like around you? What does the air smell like? Listen closely for all of the many sounds that get drowned out by the thoughts in our heads. This is an important one: eliminate time suckers. Time suckers can look like:
Endlessly watching TV shows or scrolling through social media.
Doing the same exact thing every day.
Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Live in this moment. (You won’t get it back.)
It’s funny – in a past job, every Monday the management team would participate in dramatic three hour meetings that I would absolutely dread. Dread! Three hours dedicated to this every week! It was a time suck and I wasn’t fulfilled spending my time that way.
Now, I’m building a business and sit down to grind it out a few times a week with my partner, and I will catch myself looking at the clock – Holy Hell, how did three hours just fly by?! And how do I feel? ALIVE. And so excited about what I’m doing.
Remember this: If you have been wired internally with a dream, know that you have also been wired with the capability to achieve that dream. Find the things in life that will energize you instead of making you feel like you are dying a slow death every day. (Sorry to be morbid – blame it on the Halloween spirit.) Try these three simple things – and note, “simple” is not to be confused with “easy.” It will take practice and cognizant consistency.
What are some instances where you’ve felt like a zombie, just coasting through life?
What are some small changes you can make to do more of “what feels right” internally?
Who in your life is filled with drama and negativity? What steps need to be taken to reduce this effect on your mindset?
What are some things in your life that you consider to be “time sucks?” What can you do to eliminate them to feel more present?
Happy Halloween. Don’t be a zombie.