Being in the world of self-employment for the last 10 months one of the biggest revelations I have had is how AMAZING it is to set your own pace in life. Before leaving the corporate world I never thought much about the pace of my life, it was simply fast, like everyone else’s life.
With a jam packed work schedule, home responsibilities and extracurricular activities, the months flew by, with little time for reflection on what I was experiencing and how I was feeling. I went on countless vacations and enjoyed many restaurant meals without really “being there” many times due to time/responsibilities moving at such a fast pace I didn’t have time to breathe in the life I was creating.
I remember when I left my previous corporate job and a manager I worked with said, “you know the pace of work here, isn’t for everyone,” and it stabbed me with pain. I resented his comment for months, how could he make such a bold statement assuming I wasn’t “cut out” for this pace. Now, as I look back I can clearly see that his statement was true and without malice. Everyone operates at a unique pace in like, allowing them to create what they desire, while maintaining their mental health.
The pace that I was living in was far too fast for me to enjoy and too intense for my body and mind to continually process. The pain I experienced in hearing the above comment was the realization that others may operate very well at that pace and level of desire manifestation, but I never would. I felt like a failure in accepting this, but now I feel like a victor in knowing how great it feels to accept the right pace in life for you and in knowing exactly how to create it.
The awards that life tends to hand out for operating at a faster pace can be very alluring, but they are meaningless when you are not enjoying the journey because you are going too fast. Deeply understanding what pace of life is right for you, can make the difference between living authentically or living out someone else’s expectations.
The joy of life is that we all get to choose and keep choosing what pace works for us. The pace you wanted in your 20’s, may look very different than what you want in your 30’s and 40’s and this may require challenging personal truths you have held on to for years.
How does one know if you are at the right pace? Well it’s a very personal decision, but for me it included a process of deleting out a lot and then adding back in what felt like it was at the right pace for me. Fortunately to begin, I was able to delete out a work environment that didn’t work for me, given developing mindfulness about how I spent money.
With my clients I often discuss money management due to the huge increase in life leverage, saving money can provide to choose the best work/life option for you.
Second, I started to look at my weekly schedule and rearrange work, social and home activities in a way that created enough down time to enjoy each item, but also ensure that everything that needs to get done, is completed. If I felt that I wouldn’t have enough down time, I moved an activity to next week or asked my husband/friend(s) or family for help with something (and gave them a break when they needed help!).
Lastly, I added back time to journal and meditate more often. My previous pace of life had not offered a lot of time to do either of these things and what I found by adding them back into my life was that I had a new level of appreciation for each experience and also felt much calmer during night, when I needed to rest.
Calmness to me at night was huge, after living with on and off bouts of insomnia for years—another sign that you are not living at the right pace!!
In sharing my approach, I hope that you find inspiration in finding a more optimal pace of life for yourself. Even if it doesn’t include a huge overhaul like I made, there are so many small changes you can make to arrive at the best level of action and interaction in your life.