I’ve been struggling on the volleyball court lately. Losing more than I win, seeing things that my body isn’t quick enough to react to, letting my mind wander to different areas of my life outside the court and realizing (with the help of some of the awesome people I play with) how hard I am on myself. It’s crazy how long it has taken me to absorb this realization. I mean seriously, I’m in the sunshine in January with my feet in the sand and getting my movement in, does anything else really matter? I’m 46 years old, and I’m finally recognizing this conditioning, to always expect more of myself, and then see how chasing that is something that zaps my energy instead of catalyzing it. I know that I am not alone in this boat. We all have our days, some of us more than others, that we are too hard on ourselves, expect more than we should, or set impossible standards instead of recognizing the good and then letting that grounding energy help bring amazing things to fruition in our lives. So the reframe for me lately is this - evolving is way better than aging. Evolving is so exciting it puts a little flutter in my stomach that feels like attraction on the deepest level…like falling in love with yourself and the process you get to invent when you fully embrace your story.
While I’m sure there are hundreds, maybe thousands of ways we can embrace our own evolution as we walk our paths, my meditations have been revealing things to me in fives. So here are five ways I have found to find flow and embrace evolution over aging.
Learn to recognize and work with your state - I have talked a lot about breath work and how to recognize the state of our nervous system. It is fundamental to understanding how we respond and perform in the world. Recognizing our state and learning how to operate and find balance between our sympathetic and parasympathetic response is huge. Having tools under our belts to respond when we are anxious and overwhelmed in sympathetic (fight or flight), or when we have dropped too deep into parasympathetic (rest & digest) state is key to maintaining our energy and to be able to learn and retain new information. This is true at any age, and I have learned so much by raising Matthew and watching him learn and come out of states of hyper vigilance to where he is open and trusting - and then he learns. He is no different than the rest of us and breath is the key. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed slow down and take a deep breath, in through your nose and then an extra long exhale to follow. Take a few if you need to and feel the reset wash over you. If you are feeling sluggish or even low grade depressed…which can look like procrastination or low to no motivation, try breath of fire, it will help bring you back into sympathetic balance.
Value sharing knowledge as a collective experience, not a competition. For all of the difficult things the news cycle is trying its best to overwhelm us with, there is so much good energy and wisdom being spread out there. Podcasts, books, audio books…these are lights that shine through the darkness and perspectives we wouldn’t have taken in if we didn’t have the humility to listen. I’m always amazed at the like minds and cool conversations that cross my path when my I share my interests about growth mindset and generational wisdom and health and wellness. Like attracts like, and as I continue to learn and share daily with these connections, without any feeling of comparison or judgement, it feels light and beautiful. We don’t have to have it all mapped out, we only need to have the awareness to acknowledge the next step and let our interests guide our way.
Shift from a scarcity to an abundance mindset. I know that I lived a long time making decisions for what I didn’t want to happen. I didn’t want to fail, I didn’t want to feel sad, I didn’t want to be judged by others. But living for what we don’t want pales in comparison to creating what we do! A scarcity mindset keeps our options limited and our circle small. When we shift to an abundance mindset we are free to create and show up in the world without feeling like we are taking away space from anyone else. It stops imposter syndrome in its tracks and helps us find gratitude for our uniqueness. Then we can see clearly to the places where we can show up for other people and also rest in the moments where people show up for us. It produces calm and free flowing energy that radiates through our days.
Allow yourself to be changed by others while setting boundaries for your healthy life. Evolving helps us see what information is helpful and what certain perspectives are meant to bring into our lives. Whether they are intelligence or counterintelligence, they show up for a reason. Sometimes they can even be a little bit of both. Understanding ourselves helps us not to feel so much conflict with what we don’t agree with or stubbornness if we feel the pull of being changed by another. We are here to learn and grow together, self awareness shows us where those connections exists and the confidence we gain by accepting ourselves completely allows us to set proper boundaries to create the life and connections that are meant for us.
Have confidence in what you have to offer, but understand that people have to be in the right place on their path to receive it. This one is huge and has been a pain point in my life more than once. Evolving means creating space for ourselves and others to grow, but understanding that information is taken in at different times, when we are ready, and that we are not always meant to deliver the message. It shows us that we are all at different points on our paths and that sometimes those journeys are coming together and other times they are divergent. The beauty for us is to know that if we stay true to ourselves, connection will always teach something, even if it is the lesson of learning to let go.
These days, my mind and heart are set on finding maximum flow in my life, and in that regard, I’m feeling much better than I have been in the sand lately. Life is full of ebbs and flows, usually I’m telling you about how the court teaches us about life…but maybe this week the flow I’m feeling in life will learn to follow me back to the court. Evolve, find your flow, and pass the good work on to the next generation. It’s the gift that will unite us.
With love & optimism,