600 days ago, I began a journey having no idea where it would end up taking me. 600 days ago, I decided to commit to 30 days of daily meditation, and in seven days, I can honestly say that I was hooked. It fulfilled a desire for peace I had had since probably age seven, which is as far back as I can remember having anxious thoughts and behavior.
I once prided myself on being a “doer” and at one point in my career and life I even proclaimed jokingly “I’m Jessica, the one who gets shit done and makes shit happen!” I always thought that in order to “make shit happen” I had to move a million miles an hour. For many years I moved fast, but my life began to feel like the saying “I was going nowhere fast.” I was stuck, however, I still had this anxious energy to dispel so I went about making decisions that I hadn’t really thought through. The decisions I made landed me in one of the most emotionally vulnerable states of my life.
I hadn’t yet learned what living an intentional life meant. Nowhere in all my life, family upbringing, or even formal education had this concept been modeled or taught to me. I remember learning from my first mentor Jeff Olson “sometimes you need to slow down to go fast.” This saying hit me and to this day has stuck.
We often think that in order to be or feel productive in a day, week, month, or year we have to cram in as much as possible. The idea that the quantity of things we’ve done or accumulated allows us to feel productive, significant, and satisfied. I would argue that they don’t! It usually ends up feeling more like a never-ending race or an endless competition with no long term sense of victory.
Have you ever felt this way?
The reality is that it’s not the number of things we’ve done or accumulated. It’s the quality of life that the things we’ve done or accumulated actually afford us.
When we reverse our thinking we begin to think more intentionally about the things we choose to spend our time doing, with whom we spend our time with, and what we spend our money on.
For instance: Do you want to have a Starbucks latte every day or do you want to take a vacation with your family? You may think that we don’t have to choose one or the other. Okay, maybe some people don’t, however many of us do have to choose, and often times we choose wrong because we have flawed thinking. We must begin to think about how much the little things that we do add up, whether it’s dollars and cents or our time.
A daily latte at Starbucks adds up to (on average) $1952.75 per year. Crazy, right?! 🤯 Yup, I’ll be honest I was THAT person!!! The one who complained about not being able to travel and go places, yet I always had my morning latte. And since I’m being totally honest, some days were two latte kind of days!! 🤦🏼♀️
When I began to think about what I wasn’t able to do because of this ONE habit, it wasn’t that hard for me to stop. (P.S. There are three great books on this topic that I’ll put in the hashtags at the end.)
The point is – we do the exact same thing with our time. We often say, “I wish I had more time in the day!” or “I wish I had time for that!” When in all reality we ALL have the exact same 24 hours in a day. It’s just that some of us are more intentional with how we spend that time. Guys, I’m not excluding myself here… I used to watch TV every day, consume social media on average two hours a day, play games on my phone for an hour or more a day, sleep in and go to bed late.
A quality life doesn’t come from doing a lot of things all the time. A quality life comes from quality habits done daily over a long period of time. It’s not what you do once, it’s what you do with consistency. And here’s the secret you may not know yet: these habits are the little seemingly insignificant things that, in the moment, seem to have no effect on your life. If you keep doing them, however, over the course of a year, or two, or five, or ten, they will make all the difference. It could be the difference between losing your relationship with your partner or staying in a loving, passionate relationship. It could be the difference between your kids choosing to visit and call often or not. Or perhaps it’s the difference between you staying healthy and fit mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially or not. It could mean the difference between a thriving or failing career. The examples here are endless.
So yes, today I hit 600 days of daily meditation. By choosing this one thing for the past 600 days, I have transformed my life and how I show up in it. I’ve chosen to take ten minutes out every day to sit. Sit with myself, my thoughts, and my feelings. Sometimes the discomfort in my body, mind, and spirit would arrive and I would have to wrestle with my ego to stay. Every time I chose to stay, it taught me another valuable lesson about myself. Over the past 600 days, I have cultivated a genuine connection to who I am and all that I have endured and experienced in my life. I used to feel disgust, shame and anger towards myself and who/how I was. Now I embrace who I am and I love all of me and the failures that have allowed me to arrive in this place, right now, today.
I want that for all of you and I hope that this message inspires you to slow down to go fast. To sit with yourself, to think intentionally about what you want for your life and how you want to show up in it! I believe that we all have a purpose on this earth but in order to live into it, we must allow ourselves the opportunity to find our unique gifts that are often buried under the pain, guilt, shame, and beliefs that no longer serve you.
You are one in a million and you matter! Believe that you deserve the best because when you treat yourself with love and respect, the world can receive the gift of who you are!
I believe in you!