Align, not Hustle

A dear friend and coach posted this image today.  My first reaction was “uhhh….no.  I’m all about the hustle…I don’t have TIME to align.”

And then I caught myself.  And I laughed.  I laughed because I know better now.  But I am still a work in progress.

Rewind to about 1 year ago.  Up until that point in my life, I OWNED hustle.  I could put my head down and work my ass off …and produce results.  I got shit done.  And I was proud of my ability to hustle and work HARD.  If I am being completely honest, I couldn’t understand why others didn’t work harder.

I looked at yoga and meditation and journaling as a COMPLETE waste of time.  I was NOT going to waste even 5 minutes of my precious time sitting still and just thinking.  Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!

And then I hit a wall.  A HUGE wall.  I ran out of steam. I was still working my butt off but I was EXHASUTED every…single…day.  The work that came so easily got harder and harder.  I was emotionally and physically drained.  I knew something had to change…I just didn’t know what.  Thankfully, I happen to be surrounded by an amazing tribe of women that talk a LOT about mindset.  I always believed in the power of mindset….but I had never taken a minute to STOP.  To slow down.  To really think about ALL the things.

Up until this point in my life, mindset = goals and positive thinking.  I could set HUGE goals and break them down into actionable steps. I could track the heck out of those steps and goals and make things happen.  I could stay positive (most of the time) and work through the hard times.  I thought I knew all the things about “mindset” and thought I was pretty darn good at it. 

I was wrong.  Only I didn’t know it yet.

So, what changed?  Well, I was desperate.  That wall I mentioned?  It was big…and growing every day.  I felt like the harder I worked, the more behind I felt.  You know those cartoons where the person starts to run and their legs are going at 100 miles an hour but they aren’t moving?  That was me.  And for the first time in my life, I knew that I needed help.  I just had no idea where to go and what I needed.

Thankfully, at just that moment (thank you universe for hearing my desperate plea), my dear friend told me about a business / life coach she met.  Now, I’m going to be 100% honest here.  If she had only used the words “life coach”, I likely would have run for the hills.  The fact that she said “business coach” is what caught my attention.  I had big dreams for my businesses, I was working hard, and it wasn’t growing at the pace I wanted.  So, I was all in.

For the first time ever, I decided to invest in myself.  I contacted this coach, signed an agreement, and set up our first call.  For the next few days, I prepared!  I refined my goals document, made sure my spreadsheet was up to date with my critical business info, re-evaluated my vision board, etc. I was going to ROCK this business coach thing!

The big day came and we got on our first call….and I was shocked when she didn’t jump right in to my goals, numbers, and data! Instead, she started asking me questions about ME.  Questions about my PERSONAL dreams and goals.   Questions about my self-care.  Self-care?  Are you KIDDING ME?  You really think I have TIME for that???  I run two businesses, our household, juggle wife and mom hats, and take care of our 6 year old daughter with no babysitting / nanny help.  My idea of self-care was going to bed early J

At the end of our call, she suggested I do some “journaling” on a few topics.  For realz.  Me.  Journal.  I wasn’t so sure this whole coach thing was going to work out.  I completely blew off my journaling homework.

On our next call, it was a lot more of the same…..and again the topic of journaling came up…along with meditation.  Lord help me, lady!  I thought we were going to discuss my BUSINESS and the pragmatic, tactical stuff I needed to start doing to hit those goals.  However, this time, she mentioned a few books I should read.  I love reading…so this sounded great. 

The weeks went by and I started diving into these books.  Weird things started happening.  I started feeling different.  I caught myself pausing here and there and reflecting on ideas.  I started dreaming about things for myself and my family that had nothing to do with business goals.  I started asking myself what I wanted.  Just me.  What I really wanted in life.  And you know what?  It felt really good.  A new energy and excitement started to bubble up inside me that had been dead for a long time.  A really really long time.  I was beginning to understand what mindset really meant.  It was MUCH larger than just my goals and positive thinking.

Then, one day, I was sitting in carpool line (my home away from home) and had about 15 minutes to kill.  Usually, this is where I get work done.  However, on this particular day, I had a lot on my mind and couldn’t focus.  I looked over and saw my daughter’s little notebook and pink glitter pen.  I swear I heard it calling my name.  I picked it up…and I started writing.  I had no plan, no purpose, no end goal.  I just started writing about what was on my mind.  I needed to get all the feelings up and out of me.

I wrote like my life depended on it for 15 straight minutes. By the time sweet Grace came skipping up to the car, I felt the most relief I had for days.  All the crap…all those thoughts swirling around inside me….they were all OUT!  And it felt AMAZING.  I had some real clarity that had been lacking.  I felt like I just lost 10 pounds (sadly, I didn’t…but it felt that way).

And then it hit me.  I think I just journaled.  Me.  That same person that would have rather stuck a hot poker in her eye than take time out to journal.  I did it.  And I was hooked.  I finally “got it.”  If I had pushed through my day and stuck to my to-do list, I would have missed out on something HUGE.  I would have just gone through the motions and forced stuff.  Instead, by taking that tiny little 15 minute window to write…to get stuff out…to sort through things in my head and be brutally honest, I was able to bring a whole new level of passion and clarity to the rest of my day…and I rocked it.  I was in alignment.  For once.  And it felt AMAZING!

So this message is for you.  You know who you are. For all those women out there who get shit done.  All the kick-ass ladies that wake up early, juggle ALL the things, make sure the school project is complete, the work project is turned in on time, and the sandwich is cut in the right shape for each kid.  I am speaking to YOU!  Hustle is great.  Hustle is admirable. Hustle gets stuff done.  BUT….guess what? Alignment is better.  If you think you have hustle now….just wait.  Just wait to see what MASSIVE things you can do when you are in alignment.  It will blow your mind.

I am typing this while sitting in a massage chair, getting a pedicure, on a Friday morning.  Because I made myself a priority.  Because it has been one HELL of a week and I needed a minute.  A minute for me.  A minute to journal.  A minute to get back in alignment.  My task list is huge and growing by the minute.  And it is ok.  I know that because I am taking the time to work on ME, all the things will get done…and it will be fine.

Oh, and that “business coach?”  Yeah….I tell EVERYONE about my “life coach.”  Cause she is amazing.  And guess what….all this time spent working on me…on my life…on what is going on between my ears up there….guess what?  It is changing my business…both of them….in significant ways.  Imagine that J

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