At my desk I have my Happy Planner scribbled completely with notes and new passwords and to do’s from paying bills to class assignments to scheduling my horse to have new shoes. My empty coffee cup is glaring at me hoping to be refilled, but I’m trying to be conscious that two cups of coffee in an hour is not a healthy habit. Maybe, I’ll go grab a cold Coke instead…
I truly believe that Atlanta is the fruit for those longing to become more mindful. As I sit in traffic every morning and evening to and from work, I have all the time in the world to sit and process my day, my emotions, and my to do’s. Honestly, traffic for the most part does not bother me. It just goes to show how fast-paced and rushed the rest of the world can be when you fuss over someone changing lanes. Just slow your brain down and wait your turn.
I get a lot of time to myself, which is nice. I take the long waits in traffic and riding at my quiet barn in the evening to plan and process all my to-do’s in order.
I’m working at a wealth-management firm, that really supports its employees. Along with the good health care benefits and ample vacation days, I have a break-room stocked with snacks, cokes, and over nine flavors of coffee and an espresso machine. We have lunch catered every Friday and sometimes my own team will go to lunch during our weekly meetings, firm funded. (Obviously the way to my heart is through tasty snacks.) The job itself is right up my alley; I see long days and deadlines approaching, but I like crunching numbers and balancing journal entries. Plus, there is something semi-cool about managing wealthy investors’ money.
Over the past few weeks I’ve scrounged for an outline for how I deal with stress and anxiety through mindfulness. I’ve come up with three criteria:
- Do your homework
- A Support System
The first entails self-study. Spending a lot of time with myself both in traffic, moving to new cities, and taking part in an adrenaline junky equestrian sport, I’ve gotten to know a lot about myself. I listen to a lot of podcasts and take in what those around me that I respect do in stressful situations. I think I have a large tool box for handling things whether that’s pulling out my best middle-school pop-rock radio station on a drive home or spending some extra seconds planning before I jump into a crazy new ordeal.
Since I started riding, I’ve had so many influential coaches, particularly very strong, career-driven, independent women. At some point, I’ve usually just wanted to be them. And now, I aspire to imitate their work ethic. It’s a lot easier to imitate the habits of a riding instructor. They may train the horse a certain way or have a philosophy or teaching, and as a rider you just put that in your tool box. I guess outside of riding, I don’t have quite as many of these peers to imitate, but you still surround yourself with friends and family that build you up and bring their own experiences you can learn from.
Then comes vulnerability. I’ve already written an entire post on this topic that’s yet to be published, but in summary I think it’s important to admit our own weaknesses. There is a trend on tv, in the South, and even within families to always be strong and independent and keep your problems to oneself. That’s a lot of pressure, and to think that if you mess up you have to hide it is too much! I think being open and honest about your weaknesses is so essential and healthy. In my sport it comes easier and is a safety precaution. I approach my coach and say, “I’m struggling to keep my horse light in the bridle right before the fence.” And she helps me navigate the issue. If I don’t correct it, I’ll mess up, but I just go and practice some more. A+B=C, and if I put A+D, well I mess up but I just re-evaluate again. In your personal life it seems to be a lot harder to be upfront about our weaknesses. But I think there’s a lot of freedom in being ok, with not being ok all the time.
That’s what I have for the morning. Lots of words. No gifs.