We create the world in which we live with the stories we tell ourselves. I want my world to be one of abundance and gratitude. Creating that story is a work in progress, but it IS in progress. Today I am grateful for…
A husband who makes me laugh daily. A kid who decided to follow her passion instead of the status quo. A puppy who knows exactly when to jump on my lap and get me out of my own head. A mother who set the example. A father who gave me the gift of story. And for Rosie, our African Grey parrot, who can’t quite say “door” so she instructs us nightly to "Shut the whooooooore.”
I am grateful for sunny days. For road trips without destinations. For the sound of ocean waves and seagulls in the morning. For the smell of a bonfire. And for the first glimpse of Detroit every time I drive north over the River Rouge bridge.
I am grateful for a workplace where I can wear leather pants and slippers to important meetings. For the women who entrust me to help guide them. For the women who return the favor. For bold-as-hell mentors. For clients who are willing to wax poetic for two hours about making the world a better place. And for the KeyHolders - every last one of them.
The stories we tell ourselves are reinforced by the company we keep. I am so very grateful to be surrounded by a thousand brave souls, many of whom stepped up to share their own stories of gratitude and abundance when I asked. I am better for them and share just some of their stories below. You can find many more on our Facebook page.
As we head into Thanksgiving, please take small moments to express the gratitude in your head and heart out loud - even if it is for the oddest things, the most minute of kind gestures or for the people you think already know their impact on you. Gratitude is a good story to have and a story worth sharing.
May your Thanksgiving be full of beautiful stories and mashed potatoes and stuffing served warm without guilt.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
SheHive Founder and Leadership Coach
P.S. Don't forget to check out our calendar of upcoming events. Lots of good stuff going on through the end of the year and beyond!
Last time I wrote to you I shared how I had been letting my self-care slip like it was my job to be mean to myself. Since then I’ve been paying close attention to my needs - resting when I need to rest, prioritizing time to write and create with the SheHive’s NaNoWriMo group and taking off my LadyBoss hat for at least one day a week.
Still, I’m always questioning if it’s enough. I feel better - grounded, happier and much less stressed - but I’m still not doing all those things I think I should be doing. What exactly is enough self-care?
I decided to ask an expert - Google. Behold, the behemoth list of everything approximately eleventy-billion self-help gurus on the interwebz list as essential to your daily health, happiness and success.
Every day I should be… waking up early, visualizing my day, setting intentions, setting three goals, spending five minutes repeating self-affirmations in a mirror, getting out in nature, walking 10,000 steps, drinking 64 ounces of water, taking vitamins, practicing 7 - 20 minutes of mindfulness, brushing my teeth three times for two minutes, flossing, pulling oil through my teeth for ten minutes, tracking my food, connecting with a loved one, expressing myself creatively, doing something that scares me, balancing my budget, purging my wardrobe so it is a carefully curated capsule of only my most cherished items, exfoliating, moisturizing, writing down three things I am grateful for, practicing a random act of kindness, reading, soaking in a salt bath, cleansing my aura, time blocking my calendar, having at least one perfect S-shaped bowel movement, putting on sunscreen, standing in superhero pose for two minutes, laughing, physically touching someone (but not in a Kevin Spacey/Harvey Weinstein-kinda way), making my bed, tidying up my home, tidying up my workspace, saving 10% of my income, eating vegetables, arranging my couch pillows, learning a new skill, appreciating my life, taking a power nap, drinking a glass of hot lemon water and cayenne, journaling, consuming 30 grams of protein, listening to a stimulating podcast, drinking green tea, drinking red wine, talking to someone I disagree with, sweating, juicing, grounding myself by walking barefoot, dancing to my favorite song, answering my text messages right away, meal planning, spending ten minutes staring into a mirror to identify one thing I like about myself, stretching, setting boundaries, learning from my failures, remaining positive, wearing my seat belt, eating breakfast and getting at least 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Luckily my dogs ate all my couch pillows years ago so the list is completely manageable on my end. Sorry about your luck though.
I calculated how long it would take anyone to complete this behemoth daily list of self-care shoulds. If you did it all, you would have approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes per day to work, commute, pee, fuck off for no good reason or care for anyone in your life other than yourself.
So, you know, totally doable. Right?
Nothing on that behemoth list above is bad for you, per say. Except, of course, potentially ALL OF IT if you’re too busy shaming yourself for what you haven’t done or for what you haven’t done enough of. Self-care is no longer caring if it makes you feel worse about yourself than you felt without it. It’s also not self-care if you are so overwhelmed by the whole of it that you are paralyzed and do none of it.
We can’t do it all. More than likely we can’t even do 10% of it all. But we can do 1% - one or two things daily - that make us feel a bit more grounded and cared for. The trick is to drown out what everyone else is telling us is important by listening to our intuition about what we really need. If you need help filtering through the noise (other people's shoulds),come on out to the SheHive - it’s kind of our jam.
I invite you to join me in committing to a self-care reality check this next week. What’s the one thing you’ll do for yourself next week to create a bit of respite and relief? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to read all about about your ONE commitment!
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
SheHive Founder & Leadership Coach
Dear stars and universe, I’m not even sure where to start this week…
Maybe with a story of how I recently broke a personal record for days without showering. Or maybe with the story of how I went a week with a fever and didn’t fully realize it until I attended a Saturday Meditation & Tea and got still for the first time in, well… a week. Or I could tell you about how I recently spent an entire night throwing up an organic apple (and, I am pretty convinced, a worm) and still considered going to work the next day because I had so much to do.
I could regale you with tales of how I haven’t seen the inside of the yoga studio - once my home away from home - since May. Or how I had a near-meltdown when we had to cancel three classes in a weekend due to low attendance. Or how I threw a full-on temper tantrum, kicking my feet and wailing, at 3:30 am last night when the dog whined to be let outside.
Or we could talk about how my roots were three inches long until this morning or how I haven’t bothered with a pedicure since July. Or how I have slept in a recliner, fully clothed, on more than one occasion recently just so I didn’t have to bother with “getting ready” the next morning. Or how I cringe at the bags under my eyes in every photo of me that has been taken over the past few months.
I could tell you about the ten cups of coffee and zero cups of water I drank yesterday, or the multiple Mondays at the beach with the family I passed up all summer long so I could work, or the bills that haven’t been paid on time, or the critical appointments I still haven’t made or the story of the suitcase that has sat, unpacked, on my basement floor since April.
I could expound on one hundred different ways I haven’t been taking care of myself recently or I could just tell you this… I’m living in a way that if any of you were living, I would gently and lovingly coach you to get your head out of your ass and start making self-care a priority like it was your fucking job.
My breaking point came this morning when I woke up and the first thought that popped into my head was, “I’m angry.” I did not leave behind a twenty-some-year career and a six figure income so that I could wake up angry. I left behind a twenty-some-year career and a six figure income precisely so I would never have to wake up angry again.
All day long I’ve been thinking back to my No Matter Whats - the set of guiding principles I set for myself when I left my job and started the SheHive. I promised myself that no matter what...
Seems I may have violated one or two - or almost ALL OF THEM - recently.
I love my work at the SheHive, but I can’t bring my best self to it if I’m working around the clock and never taking a break to fill my own bucket. I can’t be effective if I’m waking up angry. It’s time for a reset. So I’m recommitting to the future of the SheHive by recommitting to my own self-care - to some yoga and some random afternoons off and to some rest and to some relaxation. I booked a road trip to Savannah with the Mister and I blocked off every Monday on my calendar for the foreseeable future. And I ‘fessing up - I’m not living my best life.
I feel better already.
We’re celebrating the one year anniversary of the SheHive in just a few days and I really, really wanted to use this particular newsletter to share with you all the sage wisdom I’ve learned and earned over the past year. But it dawns on me that the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is this - we are all always a work in progress. And no matter how clear we are on our goals - on our No Matter Whats - it is a life-long practice to learn to live in alignment with them. I will never be perfect, but progress will be - has been - made.
What are the No Matter Whats you have made for yourself? And how are you progressing towards them? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear your story!
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
SheHive Founder & Soon-to-Be Yogi Once Again