Guest blog by Yogasteya member Brenda Reid
A more life experienced friend of mine (also read: older) once told me “we spend our 20’s trying to be what others expect, our 30’s finding out who we really are, and our 40’s enjoying it”.
It took me a while to get here, and don’t get me wrong – I have days I don’t love myself like I should, but 90% are good days where I can genuinely say I’m ok with ME. I’d love to pass along a secret sauce for this, but I truly believe we each have to travel this path and find our own way. However I did find a few things along my journey, which may help you through yours, so I’d like to share them.
- It’s ok to not enjoy something! I’ve learned there are things that drain my energy, and things that build it up. I consciously choose the latter now whenever possible, and when I cannot avoid something that is a drain, I intentionally plan time quickly after to spend alone and recharge. For me, this manifested itself as being ok turning down invitations to crowded events like concerts and big social gatherings, and instead spending more time with friends 1:1 or in very small groups.
- Let your pendulum swing. There are going to be periods where work or home needs to take priority over the other. Whether you work outside the home or as a homemaker, there are days that your work tasks will take priority and days where you focus on recharging yourself. By not being in a state of trying to “balance” every single day I freed myself to be ok with living in whatever that day brings, and knowing the pendulum will swing.
- I have limitations. This seems like a no-brainer, right? But learning to accept and embrace them was freeing. Embracing and identifying them also helped me start pushing these boundaries when I’m ready. For example, all my life I’ve had a paralyzing fear of water. I mean truly, honestly, terrified. In 2013 I found the resolve to get past this and found an amazing adult swim teacher who worked with my fear. I’ll never be an Olympic swimmer, but I can now safely participate in snorkeling, boating, and save myself in an emergency. Embracing your boundaries empowers you to move past them.
- Your passion may have changed, Find It! In 2006 I took a job with a global organization where travel was a required element of the job. I acquired my first passport and I haven’t looked back. Travel energizes me in a way I never would have imagined and as an empty nester my husband and I can avail ourselves of these opportunities regularly, so we do! I never would have imagined that I would find myself sitting in a 1000 year old Hindu temple in rural India watching a dear friend worship, sleeping on bamboo beds on the beaches of the Philippines, or watching the northern lights in Iceland. Phases of life leave us ready to embrace different things. Find your passion, and be willing to embrace that it may not be what you thought!
Learning to love myself has been a journey. I know my journey is not yet complete, but I’ve enjoyed the self-exploration along the way. I hope you do too!
Brenda is a software executive with a passion for travel, family, and the outdoors. Finding yoga in 2003 brought a new dimension to self-exploration and learning to work through physical challenges and she enjoys practicing often. “10-minutes-matters”, has become her new favorite reminder to get back to the mat! She spends her non-travel time volunteering as a mentor to teenage moms, enjoying her 2 adult children and grandkids around a campfire and 4-wheeling with her husband of 25 years.