September has been a significant month from the time we were 5 years old. January might be the start of a new calendar year, but the first Tuesday after Labour Day has been imprinted on our brains as a time of beginning. As summer winds down, I can’t help but to think of this time of year as an opportunity to try something different or to re-commit to previous goals.
The last couple of years, September has taken on particular significance for me as it comes on the heels of the Women’s Fitness Summit in Kansas City. I’ve attended WFS for the past three years and each year I leave reinvigorated and inspired by the speakers and attendees alike. There’s nothing like spending a weekend surrounded by like-minded women in your industry who are committed to making this industry better for clients. Beyond learning new exercises, cueing techniques and nutrition guidelines, the WFS explores mindset, how to create body positive spaces, and how to be a coach that clients trust. There’s plenty of time to connect with other attendees AND with the presenters, to explore our relationships to these topics and how we navigate them in our lives.
The weekend leaves me on an amazing high from connecting with who live whole-heartedly and inspire me to do the same. I’m not alone in this feeling, so this year presenter Erin Brown asked each of us to take 5 minutes to write a letter to ourselves – a love letter really, to bring us back to these feelings of invigoration and inspiration. Writing that love letter to myself, made me realize something about how I manage my own self-care. If I think of myself as a battery, I realize that every day life can be draining. As much as I love my family, friends and work it still drains a little bit of energy everyday. If I don’t commit to ways to reinvigorate and recharge my battery, that daily drain will result in a major energy depletion.
So what reinvigorates me? What recharges me so that I can live whole-heartedly instead of getting to a point where life feels like a daily grind? The energy I felt through that weekend was a reminder that spending quality time with friends provides me with a huge boost. But so does spending time by myself, with a good book or writing in my journal, or (surprise, surprise) going to the gym. We can’t always feel obligated to be social, or to say yes to every invite. This weekend is my birthday and the thought that kept going through my mind was that I would just want to spend some time by myself. Just a few hours. But I felt guilty for thinking that, knowing that I have family and friends who want to spend time with me. But why does it have to be all or nothing? Why can’t I have both? It took me some time, but I finally got up the nerve to say, “I want to spend a few hours by myself on Sunday”. And it felt like a weight was lifted of my shoulders. I’ve been excited ever since and thinking about where I’m going to curl up with my new book! I’ll also go to the beach with my family and next week I’ll do dinner and dancing with my girls! Its exactly the way I want to begin this new year of MY life.
This September I’ll be making a point of scheduling time for myself. And when life starts to feel like a grind and I lose that feeling of invigoration, I’ll go back to my love letter for a reminder. I encourage you to write your own love letter and re-discover the activities that fill up your soul.