Today is my birthday, and I’m spending the morning practicing deep gratitude. I’m taking in the joys of the new day: the cool morning breeze, the sun peeking through the clouds, the excited chatter of the birds flitting in the trees surrounding my home, and the feeling of endless possibility in the air. I’m also reflecting. I’m thinking back to the whirlwind of the last year and everything I’ve learned from it. There was so much loss; there’s no denying that. But there was also some incredible growth. On this first morning of my 62nd year, I realize that I have three significant takeaways from this past year. I’d love to share them with you in case you might resonate with them.
There are endless benefits to slowing down.
Until COVID started, my life was incredibly fast-paced. My daily schedule overflowed with events, promoting my business as much as possible, making connections with people, speaking engagements, and many in-person client sessions. To be honest, I’ve never really known how to say “no,” even when I was feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. I didn’t realize how fast I was moving through life until I was forced to slow down. In retrospect, it was pretty obvious. There was more than one occasion when I looked forward to getting sick because it would provide me with an excuse to relax.
Despite the obvious and awful downsides brought on by COVID, it forced me to lighten my plate. I’ve remained dedicated to maintaining a slower lifestyle ever since, which has been monumental for my mental and emotional health. Slowing down has also allowed me to spend more time on my physical health. I’ve gotten more sleep than ever before. And I take the time to practice yoga no matter what else is going on – even if my brain is yelling at me to get off my mat and to a work event.
I’ve been able to observe which foods feel best in my body.
I’m also dedicating more time to the food I’m fueling my body with. It has been a form of self-love, listening to my body’s needs and nourishing and nurturing it with the proper nutrients. I’ve been drinking more green juices than ever before. I’m also focusing on eating whole foods rather than processed foods – which I had been allowing to sneak into my diet from time to time. After taking a break from restaurants during the lockdowns, I realized how my body reacted so much better to whole foods cooked at home. I am much more aware of how food from even the healthiest restaurants makes me feel lethargic and uninspired.
I’ve also had some interesting breakthroughs in terms of how certain healthy foods affect me. For example, I love eggplant, especially a healthy eggplant parmesan. But slowing down has allowed me to tune into myself after meals, and I realized eggplant was not agreeing with me for whatever reason. Shortly after eating it, I would have such intense brain fog that it felt like my brain wasn’t working correctly. And it wasn’t just eggplant. Raw cashews were giving me terrible stomach aches, which I never paid much mind to in the past. Also, some corn products decreased my energy and made me feel off. I never noticed any of this before deciding to slow down and be more present.
Getting to know and appreciate my true self has been a gift.
Over the last year, I was forced to spend so much time alone, and I realized that hanging out with myself is not so bad. So many of my clients resent spending time alone, and until the past couple of years, I didn’t realize that I did too. But over the last year, I had to face the parts of myself I didn’t love, which ended up being a good thing. I was able to forgive myself for my mistakes and move past many of my flaws. I feel like I finally fell in love with myself. I’ve also grown to be so proud of my achievements, whereas before, I was constantly asking myself what else I could be doing to succeed. I’ve also never been more passionate about the work that I do. I love being a holistic nutritionist, and nourishing people with my S.O.U.P. Cleanse has been more meaningful this year than ever before.
Slowing down and focusing more on what I love and what makes me feel good has slowed my biological clock. I feel like I have aged more gracefully this year than any other year of my life. Living fast-paced doesn’t give us time to focus our attention inward and spend as much time on physical health. I’m telling you all of this because I want you to have the same experience! I am SO excited for my next year of life, and you should feel the same way. If you feel like you could benefit from some guidance around slowing down, I would love to work with you one-on-one!