I recently took a family trip to Tennessee. The views were breathtaking. I swear the mountain air rejuvenated my lungs. It was like for the first time, I could breathe.
I had just hosted a virtual retreat: Reset My
M.I.N.D. What I didn't anticipate was having to really take a moment and engage what I had just taught 13 women.
9 hours in the car is a long time. If you are like me, reflection is something you just can't escape. I see the value in taking time to sit and think about goals, life, and plans. This time was different. The peace I felt forced me to be vulnerable with myself. It caused me to really think differently.
I took a moment to just sit there on the deck and breathe. I connected with myself. I slowed my thinking. And I cried. I cried from recognizing what I was really feeling and not what I projected and wanted my family to see.
I was hurting. I was questioning the decision to move back home. I was questioning what God had said to me. I could feel the bricks sitting on my chest. Even with the crisp mountain air, I realized that my thoughts were sending me into a panic attack. It felt like I couldn't breathe. I had to do exactly what I told the participants. I had to put the breaks on my thinking.
I called a friend of mine and he challenged me to check my anxiety. And I knew he was exactly right. I had to really get out of my own head. Here are some things I learned at that moment.
1. Give yourself grace.
I was struggling mentally because I had unrealistic expectations. I had launched my business one month ago. I was hyper-critical of myself. I had put pressure on myself to be perfect. That's where I messed up at. I recognized at that moment that I still had a seed of perfectionism. In my prayer time, Holy Spirit corrected me. I received a revelation that I needed to operate from a posture of grace and wholeness. I asked what that meant. As I sat in that rocking chair, the insight came to me. When I operate from perfectionism it produces pressure in my body. Tension. Headaches. Heaviness. My thoughts are critical and unhealthy. There is a standard there that I simply can't reach. When I operate from a mindset of grace and wholeness, I allow myself the opportunity to grow and make corrections. I don't have to be perfect. I am able to think about the importance of this being a process that will produce progress. I give myself a chance to just be me and not who others wanted or needed me to be.
2. I am responsible for me.
I spend so much time pouring into others. It's my calling. It's my passion to help others optimize their growth. However, in doing that, I have to be deliberately selfish at times. I had to leave the mindset of continued and perpetual suffering behind. If I continue to suffer and be in pain, that affects my body. Having panic attacks. Increased migraines. I position myself for burnout and fatigue. How does that glorify God? How is that honoring my own body? 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says that we are body, soul, and spirit. I have a duty and responsibility to honor my body as much as my spirit. It is MY responsibility to take time to reflect, make adjustments, and honor my body and soul as much as my spirit. That's the other part of operating in grace and wholeness. I am responsible to operate in balance.
3. Self Care is about balance.
Self Care is thought to be this experience of bubble baths and champagne glasses. It's going on girls' trips and time with the fellas. It's disconnecting from the outside world. For some people, it's working on a puzzle or crafting. Self Care is individualized to you. Stop comparing yourself. What works for you may not work for others. That's how you achieve balance. You stop focusing outward and on what everyone else is doing and focus inward. What do I need at that moment? That's what I had to ask myself. I had to take a moment to breathe and connect with Tahkyra. I had to do an inventory. You can't decide what you need if you don't look at what you have. In doing that, my inventory showed me that I needed community. I am so used to being a part of everyone else's community as a support person that I needed my own community. Some people are a part of your life as spectators. Some people are a part of your life as supporters. Some people are a part of your life as investors. I had to tap into my investors. Not financial investors. I mean investors in the vision that I have shared, they hold me accountable, pour into me, not always looking to me for support. Investors require reciprocity. Investors look at not just the risks, but the opportunity costs. By pouring into this, what is the return for me? There is an expectation of return. There is a different mindset. Self-care requires you to make sure that you are balanced in helping and receiving.
I am a huge advocate of taking care of yourself. But don't do it with the mindset of comparing yourself to others. Self-care is about self, you. In making lasting change, sometimes it requires that moment of selfishness to focus on you and connect to yourself again.
It's your girl Author Tahkyra TK Terrell and I am #JustMindingMyVision.