Creating (and Protecting) Your Foundation
“I really didn’t have any perspective on the things I should do to feel better or set boundaries in my work. I didn’t know where to begin because changing things in my life seemed overwhelming. In working with Rachel, the approach to change, especially my lifestyle habits, was very methodical. I actually found it easy!” -Amy S.
Amy was working long hours, in a job that she really disliked, in a dark office with fluorescent lighting, for a boss who she felt did not appreciate her.
She had seven years left until retirement, and while she kept telling herself she could put up with her circumstances a few more years, internally she could not tolerate another second.
So Amy began patterns of self-sabotage.
She stayed up late and overslept. She couldn’t understand why she never worked out, when there was a gym in her office building. She liked to cook but always made rich, sweet, and creamy comfort foods. She had big dreams for her house, but succumbed every weekend to clutter and a feeling of exhaustion and overwhelm.
And she absolutely believed she was doing the best she could.
Amy and I met because she knew she needed to lose weight. And during our initial consultation, I agreed—she was doing the best she could.
What Amy needed was not another weight loss plan….she needed to know how to bring her mind, body, and emotions into alignment with a goal bigger than what she could see for herself. She needed someone to challenge her beliefs about what was possible.
We had to start with pleasure. Amy’s life was made up of forcing herself to do things she didn’t enjoy, adding more tasks would have continued the pattern of frustration.
One of the first tasks we decided upon was walking outside every day.
Then we moved to discussing what lit her up outside of work. Amy had a heart for abused and abandoned animals. We decided she could begin volunteering at her local SPCA every weekend.
We continued with simple steps like this….a little red wine and a favorite television show before bed instead of snacking and staying up really late. Recipes that were delicious and she enjoyed preparing.
Slowly we built a foundation that brought her into alignment with her deeper goal—to thrive in her workplace until retirement, and arrive full of life and ready for the next stage.
It’s easy to burn out for others. It often feels much more challenging to commit to having the best experience possible.
Amy had to experience and remember what it feels like to be energized, cared for, and happy before she could begin to change anything else. Once she created a foundation for herself and set boundaries in her life, she could take new action.
Action that felt easy, even effortless.
She transferred to a new position within her company that she felt passionately driven to improve, with a pay increase.
She organized her home.
She lost weight and began looking forward to energizing meals and outdoor walks.
As much as we try to convince ourselves that pushing, pain, and discipline are the only way to achieve lasting results….the real change begins with a strong foundation in pleasure, self-care, and an experience of joy.