The Focus On You

Self-Care Is A Lifestyle

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How To Shift From Extremes To Sufficiency

This isn’t going to be a post about work/life balance.

This post will ask you to look at where you may be “off. “

Living in extremes.
Living in a deficit. 

Let’s analyze a few things first.

I want you to imagine that you are trying to maintain your lifestyle, routine and responsibilities by standing on one leg. How hard would it be to manage your life PLUS self-care if you’re worried about falling over? How tired would you be at the end of your day? Every day would be consumed with trying not to fall. After a few falls you may decide to just stay at home. You would jump out of the race and say “forget it.”

If you feel that you hit life’s speed bumps harder than other people, this may be why.

I have worked with clients who live in extremes. Follow along and see if you relate. Some people do TOO MUCH for others. They always say yes, when they mean no. They get burnt out on helping others and feel taken advantage of. Maybe you set your standards too high and when they can’t be met, you take it personally. You jump into a relationship or job at 110 mph when no one asked you to. Yes, it’s your own fault if you start too strong, but maturity means that you can readjust the standards and keep pushing forward.

It’s possible to be doing TOO much at work. Depending on your career, its advisable to take a seat for a little while. Trying to impress others all the time can be draining. This is a case of the extremes.

Another extreme is being so burnt out that you shut down from life completely. You isolate, let phone calls go to voicemail and work hard at avoiding personal contact. In your head you feel its justified, especially if you’re like the person above who is burnt out. On the outside we can all see that its dangerous. I’m not saying that a weekend hibernation is dangerous but if you slow down to 25 mph every weekend and then have to speed up to 90 mph to catch up again, that’s a problem.

Living in extremes is dangerous. We never know what tomorrow brings. I’m not saying that we need to live our lives idly and wait for crises. If your lifestyle leaves you standing on one leg, what would it look like to walk on both legs and be more “balanced?”

Is the middle ground considered “sufficiency?” It’s not the extremes of survival or abundance. It’s being balanced, humble and living sufficiently.

How do you get there?

  • Look at your weekly or daily schedule and toss a few items.

  • What activities or rituals do you NEED AND WANT in your life? Have you neglected your health? Do you want to miss your friends or family? Fit them in. 

  • Who is draining you of energy? Fix that. Now. Who can help?

  • Has spirituality taken a back seat in your life? How easy would it be to make that a priority again? Remember that spirituality doesn’t always mean attending a place of worship. Connecting with your spirit could mean disconnecting from spiritual vampires or feeding your thoughts with nourishing writings, messages or sounds. How could you make that happen?

  • Start your morning with a gratitude practice (morning prayer, journaling, mindful exercise, grateful social media posts). Stop spending your morning complaining. You’re tired. We get it.

After reading “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, I learned how changing one’s morning routine is about more than waking up early. As a busy entrepeneur, speaker and author, he doesn’t start his day at 110 mph. He spends his mornings with a few moments of silence, repeating helpful affirmations, visualizing what he wants to attain, exercising and reading. This may sound like a whole day’s worth of activities but he re-energizes his day by “boosting his potential” with these activities. Plus, he describes how he can combine silence, exercise and affirmations all within one activity- running.

Although the lessons from the book and the ideas mentioned above may feel like you’re doing “more”, it’s wise to pull out what’s NOT working.  How can you replace it with events, thoughts, people and routines that plant both feet on the ground?

How can you start living a more “sufficient” life this week?

Book recommendation:



Finding Self-Acceptance In Your Dirty Fridge

In the hopes of shattering stereotypes surrounding self-awareness, let’s take a gritty look at its underbelly.

Self-acceptance isn’t all fairy tales and unicorns. The beauty of awareness is that it has put in its work. It has dirt under its nails and cracked cuticles.

I used to give my clients a story of a dirty fridge when we talked about self-acceptance. When we avoid cleaning out our fridge, we just keep piling new stuff in front of it. An outsider may think that it’s a plentiful and healthy fridge. On the contrary it’s a stinky mess. When all the newer food is finally gone, what are you left with? The jar of pickles stuck to the glass. Hopefully there aren’t rotten tomatoes at the bottom of the veggie drawer. Hey, I’m no saint. I’ve had a funky mess before.

What’s the gift in actually cleaning that mess?

You get mad.

You wrestle with guilt.

You may rush to clean it so no one will see it.

And then you develop an appreciation.

You think about how you effed up.

You re-consider how it got to this level.

Depending on how many people you live with, you may preach new standards for this clean fridge. You will now protect the sanctity of this holy vessel. Anyone in its presence must respect it as well.

“This fridge should never get to this level AGAIN!”

Unfortunately, people who don’t clean the fridge won’t respect the fridge.

And now you must act like a bodyguard and call people out on their disrespectful fridge behavior. Because Lord knows you are NOT going through that clean up again!

This is boundaries.

This is protecting what you’ve spent so much time on.

This is why therapists, smart friends and family members wince when you jump from relationship to relationship. This is why you need to be aware of shady spending habits after you just finished paying off a bill.

This is why band-aid remedies like rebound lovers, pain medication, flat tummy teas, a girl’s night and avoidance don’t always work. Sometimes people’s dirt is so thick that a quick fix is just stuffing the fridge again.

Once you get to the root of your insecurities, sit and make friends with it.

Then release it and sit with that space. Be careful that you don’t try and fill up that space again.

Fullness isn’t always a sign of success. Minimalists, feel free to applaud at this point.

Fullness and clutter are no longer healthy. Accumulated dust is why we can’t breathe. Click To Tweet

Sit with that clean fridge, protect the beauty of its spaces and lean into being whole again.

How will you make space for your self-acceptance this week?


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