April – and Mother Nature’s indecisive weather playing with my emotions on the daily – done came and went, putting the first quarter of 2019, now five days behind us. Um, WHAT?! Reflecting on all of the happenings this past month, it’s fair to say I was living in a black hole of intense INTROSPECTION and REFLECTION. Like, REEEAALLLLYYY deep in that hole. Like working to peel back an onion to its flowering stage before the tough outer layers are formed, work. It’s been a month of unraveling and I feel as though I started to confront the damage my ingrained defense mechanisms and retreat styles in times of high stress cause within myself – we will save that piece for a time where I’m able to trap myself in my apartment for three days and talk to no one – but I’ve learned the best way I can start climbing out of that hole is by turning inward by taking inventory of my headspace, values and next moves.
A few months ago I was listening to a podcast, imagine that, featuring some brilliant minded individual talking about manifestation. If you’re not too familiar with manifestation, I wrote a blog post “back in 2018” touching on a few things I had been manifesting (you can check out if you need a quick refresher…seriously you can just read the first two lines which provide the definitions of both “manifestation” and “intention”). This year started off at a steady 65 mph and quickly ramped up to, “Fugg the speedometer, PEDAL TO THE METAL” while maneuvering a foggy Italian mountain (although this is just an example of quickly everything turned to hyperspeed without caution, take my word for it when I say drive I’ve depicted was one of the scariest situations in my life. Total loss of visibility and feelings of security. Sound familiar?), leaving my current state of mindfulness operating at about a -10000%, which created feelings of time lost. Not that I have nothing to show for my 4-month hustle, “Hiye Abbbzzzz”, but I the uncontrollables take hold of my energy, ignoring all focus of consistently practicing mindfulness and positive thoughts. But, as I’ve always said, the Universe has a way of knocking you down – or completely flat on your face…figuratively speaking – but this is not the first time I’ve needed an awakening. The first was when I tore my ACL my senior year of college after a stellar summer of USA A2 National Training, thee next when my dad passed away unexpectedly, and last when my mom’s cancer returned…both times. Blind-sighted by all three, but each instance served as an opportunity for me to re-evaluate what I felt was important and adjust my life-course. So here we are, after two months of calling Cleveland home I’ve finally sat my a** down for a first quarter check-in.
1. Are my basic needs being met?
In times of extreme stress and/or chaos, we, or I, seem to output all of my energy and focus towards fixing other people’s problems which usually leaves me depleted of the energy necessary to sustain my basic needs. So thanks to Bedros Keuilian, FitBody Bootcamp founder guest featured on Aubrey Marcus podcast (episode details in “GOOD LISTENS” section of my blog), I’ve been making conscious effort to assess if my basic needs are being met by using the acronym HALT when I feel myself starting to spin.
Reflecting on these last two months specifically, I lived in a HALT-space, sometimes all at once depending on the day and I’ll be the first to tell you not meeting these needs first creates a recipe for DISASTER. The next time stress becomes a dangerously overwhelming feeling, don’t let your emotions become drunk. HALT.
2. Where’s my Hustle?
After the holiday season, ya girl was feeling SOFT. Holiday parties, vacations, and celebrations were all thoroughly enjoyed without a single regret. BUT I made a promise to myself that after the Super Bowl I would get back on the wagon and really grind dive into my health and fitness routine. The goal wasn’t to be super restricted but more mindful. As far as my diet was concerned, I am fortunate the years of consistent clean eating has trained my body to weed the bad food; however, unfortunately in the form of toothaches, swollen joints, and an unhappy belly so it was easy for me to cut the crap. But don’t get me wrong, put a Swenson’s double-cheeseburger in front of me and I give it ALL up. Haha. I didn’t say I was perfect. My training, on the other hand, was something I was looking forward to ramping up. My training coach is truly the dopest when it comes to programming. I’ve been training with him for a little over a year now and he always develops programs that make me feel both strong and confident while also feeding the workhorse of my inner athlete. So my hustle has been chasing total physical optimization while still enjoying brunch. It’s all about balance, y’all.
3. What’s my next career move?
A question I’ve REALLY been trying to work through because, to be honest, I don’t have a strong grasp on what it is but I know the direction I’m moving will align better with my passions. In this life journey, our passions tend to present themselves repeatedly in the form of whispers that come and go. Over the past few months, those whispers have turned into a class of tantrum throwing two-year-olds latching onto both legs, trying to redirect my steps and I can’t say I’m resisting. Like most, I tend to get stuck in the ‘ol 9-5 routine, settling for the familiar and automated but I’ve learned this can be detrimental to your work as, “the lack of authenticity of doing what you really want to do and what you’re passionate about will undermine your efforts.” And that’s where I’m at. The lack of authenticity in my current job has settled in while the season of abundance on my life purpose’s path is blooming. Our time in this life is limited, I intend to make sure mine is spent deliberately.
4. Am I living on brand?
Aka authentically. As I’ve expressed numerous times, when my life seems to starts moving at hyperspeed or, spinning, my values, needs, and goals take a second seat to whatever else I am supporting at that time. I literally lose myself but, in the practice in accountability, I have no one to blame but myself. Sometimes I say “yes” too much or make myself too available, or maintain relationships that require more energy that I am able to provide, but that’s on me. Looking back on this first quarter, I feel a 70/30 split. 70 output, 30 return but we’re about to change allll of that. Eloquently put by a local Chicago photographer girlfriend on the rise, I am currently experiencing a season of abundance and with that comes an energy shift. That energy has been swirling at Mach 5 speed and climbing. Everything I’ve been manifesting is starting to take form and with that comes ensuring everyone and everything that surrounds is vibrating at the same frequency. An ex once told me, “You’re not the same person, at least not to me.” Damn right I’m not.
5. Focus for 2nd Quarter
Riding the wave that is Summer Time Chi. Festivals, concerts, movies in the park, hustle, flowing, all of it. The summer brings early mornings and long nights, always chasing the sun. An unmatchable energy takes over the city for three, four if we’re lucky, months and for the next four months, Imma keep this same energy.