In today's world we often work to satisfy the expectations of others. We are taught at a young age to follow the road of least resistance, to be a part of the pack and not create too many waves. At least that's the upbringing I had, I made decisions that reflected what was expected of me not necessarily what was true to who I am.
Creative minded, I always tried to break the rules a bit but of course that was done within reason. As a teen rather than wearing pink polo shirts with kelly green bermuda shorts, as was the preppy style of the '80's, I chose to rebel by wearing jeans, rose coloured round glasses and lots of plastic bangles on my wrist while smoking an occasional cigarette out of my bathroom window. Yup! that was the extent of my rebellion... I really did follow the dotted line when it came to how I was meant to act and the person my parent's expected me to be.
Growing up in a family that came from a long history of farmers my parents decided to do things differently. They chose to sell the carrot farm and move to the big city. To become one of the Jones', to live the lifestyle others had created for themselves or were handed down by their families. So one day my parents made the decision to uproot themselves to create this life for our family. This was a huge accomplishment for them as they did put their children through private school and did give us the life they worked so hard to achieve. But deviating from the idea of what they worked so hard to accomplish was not an option for me. Living my life through their expectations was the only road that was paved for my future.
How many of us have worked to satisfy the desires of others rather than live out our true destiny? This is a lesson that I am gradually learning as I grow through the decades. Only now in my 50's do I feel I can answer to myself and not to the conditioned past or the expectations of others.
After having worked in the corporate world to the point of near burnout did I realize that I was carrying the expectations of others on my shoulders and working to satisfy their needs rather than my own. Slowly through meditation, oils, mindfulness, yoga and a holistic approach to life did I start to understand what it was that I really wanted out of life. At first I considered these activities as Guilty Pleasures, ones I would incorporate into my life but wouldn't let anyone in on the knowIedge that I was taking time for myself. I would hide these activities as a secret to myself. I thought if people knew I was including a holistic approach to life that I would be judged for not being corporate minded, a business person, or a go-getter.
The term Guilty Pleasures has been coined by our society because there is a sense of GUILT that comes along with the enjoyment of an activity. Why are we GUILTY of enjoying life, why are we GUILTY of doing what pleases us? Finally after years of living with the idea of Guilty pleasure I am here to dispel the GUILT!!
For the last five years I have slowly decided that scheduling Pleasures into my day is more important than scheduling work into my week! That the guilt associated with these pleasures is only a fictitious mindset. One where judgement of others is clouding the enjoyment of today. I'm not saying that work isn't important, as it is what pays the bills, I'm just saying that taking time for yourself should be the number one priority. If you are satisfied and happy and balanced then this causes a ripple effect in your day to the energy and efficiency you can give to your work and to others.
Soulfulness, Mindfulness, breathwork, stretching, yoga, listening to music, dancing, laughing, these are some of the pillars to my happiness. And once our body, mind and spirit have been filled with happiness, this happiness will overflow to those around us. Our energy is felt by others and a smile is often reflect back by anothers' smile. Living on the upper side of the line, the positive side of the curve is nothing to feel Guilty about.
Over the 5 years I had started by secretly scheduling in 1 morning of yoga into my weekly schedule. I would hide the fact that it was there. Today five years later, I have 2 mornings scheduled in and I advise my family, friends and clients of my schedule and work my day around this as best I can. Yes there are moments in life where yoga must be put aside for work and my career but 9 times out of 10 it's set in stone and boy does my day and week feel soooo much better. The energy I give to myself can be given back tenfold to others.
My motto is if you can improve your day by even just 5% and make that 5% your new base line over time that 5% becomes 10%, then 10 becomes 15 and so on until you are really living in true alignment with yourself and with others. Learning to put yourself first and to enjoy small moments in your day is the term living in the moment. We need to stop reflecting on the past, living for others and hoping the future will bring us more joy. The time is now to add that one simple guilty pleasure and to announce it to the world so that you can expose your secret and live happily in the moment, without self-judgment. No more GUILT when it comes to adding PLEASURE. Reducing the Guilt will ultimately also lead to reduced Stress.
Let's do this together! I would love to hear what activity you have been hiding in your secret closet that you would love to shout out to the world. What will you be scheduling into your workday this week? This is the time for change, this is the time to stand up for yourself and the happiness in your life. Guilt-free..
Comments are always welcome, feel free to share your story so that you can be supported in your journey to add 5% more joy to your week.
With love and joy ♡