Quitting the Hustle



You know what radical self love is, it’s waking up 37 years young and realizing that not only can you NOT be all the things to everybody...but you don’t want to. You can't do everything, to-do lists are mostly bullshit, and expectations are a sure fire way to develop resentments.

Logically, rationally, I can tell you all the things I should be doing right now. The list I can come up with would make most list lovers cringe. Why? Because I think my to-do list is achievable daily. My brain believes that I am supposed to be doing all the things, all the time.

Unfortunately, that’s not how that works.

Research suggests that, at most, lists can include 2-3 tasks in them a day to be both achievable and non-shame inducing. Additionally, Dr. Bluma Zeigarnik first discussed the impact of unfinished tasks on our memory in 1938. We've known for awhile that long to-do lists are recipes for perceived failure.

Fun fact: You will always do more than 3 things a day, you just might not have them on your list. Funner fact: Brilliant people often have to-do lists of 1.

Does that mean they are not valuable? 
Of course not.
Yet we have been conditioned to believe that self-care is not valuable. 
Or anything that doesn’t make income is lacking in value. Get it? Money = Value.
I challenge this.
After all, like my 7 year old so aptly put it, what’s the point of money anyway??

Ok. Now add in some more of your roles. Do you have a job? How about a pet? A partner? Kids? Elderly or disabled family members? Plants? The list of add-on responsibilities can be endless. If you’re like me, that list takes up all of your time, and maybe you and your needs get squeezed in at some point.
Maybe.
For me, some days I never even make the cut.
This isn’t because I don’t want to, rather because I thought that everything else was more important. The repercussions of this are usually dire, massive Jessica burn out.

When covid19 originally hit, I, like so many others, thought it would be temporary. Normal would return. As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months, I began to realize I didn’t even want what used to be normal for me. While the stress of not making any income and how do we save our business was overwhelming, the joy of being fully present for myself and my family was incredible. I quickly realized just how much, how too much, I had been doing in my life. I experienced all the things I really wanted for my life, that I had not had. Things like dinners with my entire family, not just me or my partner flying solo; long walks in the morning and evening; family hikes; the chance to be fully present with my kids and not distracted by all the work stuff; learning new things, like skateboarding, with my kids; realizing that a big part of being heard by my partner rests in me being able to listen too. I wanted these things, and yet I had allowed owning and running this ‘dream business’ had taken over completely. I had gotten lost in the 'hustle' to financially survive, and forgotten to live. 

I’m going to be honest, I have no idea if we financially survive. We are pivoting, like many businesses in our industry. Transitioning into online subscription, hoping to create a platform for movement education that provides the value of building self-confidence and mastery through getting people back into their bodies. I’m hopeful it will be a start of something important for the fitness industry. Yet I don’t know if it will be enough to save our brick and mortar that we just opened last year. There are a lot of unknowns, and the speed with which married business partners and parents of 2 young children can transition a 4 year old niche business is not as fast as might prove helpful with mountains of unpaid bills accruing. That's a long sentence to say, I just don't know. It’s easy to see how we easily get caught up in the hustle. Financial insecurity isn’t just a fear for us, it’s very real. But it is not everything. These months off have taught me that focusing all my energy here doesn’t actually make it any better. 
This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Hustling will never produce the life I want to be living, it will only yield more hustling.
Oddly that immediately makes me think of drinking.
And drugs. Relationships. Running. Achievement.
Damn, the great chase seems to have permeated a lot of my life.

So what does it mean to live in the realm of enough? 
Especially if you cannot pay bills during a pandemic?
It means pausing to breathe.
It means letting go of the things I cannot control.
It means taking the actionable steps right before me.
It means that sometimes I have to ask for help.
It means that there will be a lot of fuck it moments.
It means embracing boundaries, like long lost friends.
It means RADICAL SELF-CARE.

I don’t know where you are at with all of this.
What I do know is that feeling overwhelmed right now amidst a pandemic, second civil rights movement, a horrific political environment, all while living in a country that treats its citizens like second class humans...that’s to be expected.
We will all walk away traumatized.
We will all have to heal from this in one way or another, and if you’ve never worked on all your other stuff, it’s going to be rough. I promise you, though, it’s possible.

I know. I’ve done it. I’m doing it now.
Radical self-care in this shit show means NOT checking out via methods that further deteriorate our well being. That’s what I would have done 3 years ago. I can’t even imagine navigating all of this while still drinking alcohol. Thankfully, I don’t have to anymore. I can sit in these feels. I can reach out to my people and lean on them when it feels too much. I can take care of me.
And I can tell that little voice trying to tell me that I am a failure and a loser if I stop being all the things, playing all the roles, and hustling through my life to shut the fuck up.

I’m too busy loving on myself.

Give yourself permission to let that shit go, and just be present in this moment. The hard stuff will still be there to deal with, but we don’t have to do all the things at once. Maybe the place we start is reminding ourselves that self-care is about taking care of ourselves, not creating more harm.

What’s one thing you could change today that flips THAT script in your own life?

Remember, even in the hard and seemingly impossible moments, you’re not alone.
I’m right here loving you and cheering you on.

We are, after all, stronger together.
~Dr. J

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