The past few years I have become so much more comfortable with myself, my choices, and my body. Looking back I am so confused on why it took me so long to find this out, but I am sure I am not the only girl that this crazy world has tricked. For years I always thought that having a job, constantly running errands, having places to be and people to see meant you were doing life right. I thought that busy strictly correlated with being successful and happy. Busy people are always going from place to place, the next best thing to the next best thing. Even today, whenever I ask someone "How are you?" the response I get 9 times out of 10, "I am so busy!". How is this a good thing? Since when did "busy" become a badge of honor that you ironed on your jean jacket?
The short answer is NEVER. When I started to realize that our society encourages this busy-ness, this lifestyle of always moving, I was exhausted. I wore myself out trying to do all the things for all the people and never let anyone down. To be honest, I left myself down BIG TIME. I never made time for myself, my happiness, my soul. I did what friends wanted to do, what my boyfriend (now husband) wanted to do, whatever work told me I had to do (note: I did love hanging out with friends but I rarely spoke up and would be the "whatever you wanna do" friend.) I tried to do it all: work, workout, eat healthy, time with friends, time with family, time with the boyfriend, be active in the community, play sports, read, watch the newest movies, stay up to date on TV show. I tried. And I failed. I couldn't do it all. I would be rocking it all for a week or two then I would hit a wall. Over and over again I thought it was me, I was not good enough. Time and time again I tried to do it all and failed. I was so unhappy with myself, my weight, my "friends" or lack thereof at the time, my clocks that always seemed to go way too fast that I would frequently crash and have to reboot for 2-3 days. I watched life going by me on Instagram and Facebook and played that nice game of me vs. her. Why was she so happy? How does she do all the things and still look like that in photos? How was she in such good shape?! Why?! Why?! Why?!
One day, I get so fed up that when my coach asked me to join her team once again, I finally said "Fuck it!" I didn't know how much that decision would change my life. Little did I know that I joined a company that would completely change how I thought about myself and others. I joined a company that encouraged me to not only take time for myself each day with a workout, taught me how to fuel my body properly, this company also also wanted me to read books to help me mentally and spiritually, it was actually part of my job as a coach. Okay, sure. I worked as a Youth Director for churches, I got this spirituality thing down, or so I thought. Truth was, I focused so much on my kids, their families, and my volunteers that I was not focusing on myself at all. That is NOT healthy. That is not okay. Being busy was not a glamorous destination it was a distraction. Instead of taking time to check in with myself and my heart, I did all the things.
By becoming a coach not only did I get in good shape physically, I felt like slowly but surely I was figuring out what this whole life was about and "busy" was not the right answer. I took time each morning to journal, read a devotional, and meditate. Don't get me wrong, meditation is great but it is H-A-R-D to learn. I was reading a book at the time that talked about mediation pretty often so I figured, why not. Instead of starting it and quitting, like I did with so many previous workouts, I wanted to learn how to help my myself be still in this "busy" world. So I learned, I researched tons of resources and ended up falling in LOVE with the Insight Timer App (which is completely free BTW). Each day for 20 days, I followed a guided meditation. On day 1, I meditated for 1 whole minute. 60 seconds, my friends, can go by sooooooo sloooowwwly. And each day for 20 days, I added another minute to my time. After 20 days, I could sit through an entire 20 minute meditation.
Aside from my new skill of "sit and stay", I also saw how this practice changed my mindset the rest of the day. Instead of being easily annoyed, eager to just do the things, or so ready to agree to anything I began to think before I acted. How would this serve my heart? How would this serve others? How would this affect my attitude? I learned to pass on things that usually brought me stress or unnecessary drama, but before I felt obligated to attend. I learned to seek out friends that supported this new mindset. Friends that encouraged each other, helped each other grow, and sat with each other in the midst of the shit instead of being "too busy". I learned that taking a night off to just read, journal, run, workout, watch Netflix or do whatever it was that I wanted to do was not selfish but completely necessary.
I am so thankful that one day I was so fed up with the busy-ness of life and watching everyone around me "change" that I said, "Fuck it, sign me up!". I am so thankful that my body has been able to transform and get stronger. I am so thankful that my job requires me to read personal development books that encourage me to grow as a person, educate me on how to be still in this world, and motivate me to follow my heart and path in life. I am filled with a unique mixture of happiness and sadness when I think about "20 year old Dani" and all she tried to do to be the best version of herself. I am beaming with gratitude that I have taken that journey through life and that I now know that being busy is a distraction from who I am meant to be.
So let me repeat this one more time for the girls in the back. IT'S NOT YOU, GIRL. Sadly, it is our society that stresses us all the fuck out and wants us to stay busy and always moving. Do you know what is you? Your heart. Your goals. Your dreams. Take time to check in with yourself, see what you are doing now and what you can be doing to help you achieve them. Find your own destination and take care of yourself on the way there but beware of the "busy" detour.