One day, I was so overwhelmed that I came up with this analogy for how I felt. I felt like I was carrying 100 bags, and as I tried to steady myself, they began falling. As I reached to stop one from falling, inevitably another one fell. The vision in my mind ended with all the bags on the floor, and a frazzled “me” standing there, looking at the mess.
I am sure many of you can relate to this. In today’s hustle and bustle society and culture, we try to do so many things at once. We try to be so many things at once, switching hats from one to another, then back, again. And while we all wish it were shopping bags we were carrying like the photo, chances are those bags represent items in our life, or people, we are trying to manage all at once.
A great reminder is that we cannot be everything to everyone and we cannot do everything all the time. When we try (which we all do) to be and do everything, inevitably “bags” begin to fall. Often those bags represents “me” time, or our own self-care. But, without taking care of ourselves, we are not able to be anything for anyone else. So, what are we to do?
A very beautiful and wise woman told me to Celebrate Baby Steps… to take little bites instead of big ones and to acknowledge the small victories. There is no necessity in taking huge bites out of things when we can slowly take one little bite at a time, enjoying each bite and its flavor, because we still end up in the same place as if we tried to race through it. The difference is, in those little bites there is room for peace, for joy and for presence. Racing through to finish the meal, we may not even taste it or enjoy it. We lose sight of ourselves, and why we are even doing what we are doing. Be gentle with yourself. It is OK to take time for yourself, and to step one foot in front of the other, one little baby step at a time.
Try this exercise:
Take a few moments to reflect on your own life. How many hats do you wear each day? How many things are you trying to manage all at once?
Once you recognize these “bags” you are carrying and the “hats” you are wearing, figure out which you can leave behind for just a little bit of time to focus on some of the others.
Which bags or hats are most important to you? Are there any bags or hats that have fallen that you can pick back up to enhance your life or promote self-care?
Prioritize your “bags” and “hats” and celebrate the baby steps you take towards a more peaceful and fulfilled life!