The Storm being life’s often overwhelming responsibilities and demands.
Sometimes it feels like it’s all I can do to barely hold on to the swaying palm tree
in the hurricane! How do we find a refuge? Is it achievable if we put ourselves
first? Allowing all other things to come second in priority to our “me time.” Is that
possible and what would be the outcome?…..Will we find balance at last? Truly
finding a state of Well-Being? Will others suffer around us if we just let go of the
daily responsibilities for awhile and do something that is truly good for us? Can
that stuff really wait and what would happen if it did? Well that sounds great but
is it practical all the time?

The answer is Yes, Yes and Yes! My answer is my workout and how good my
post-workout mind calms the storm that at times is my life.

As a new Mom I have discovered the incredible force of guilt that seems to
encompass all things related to motherhood! No one prepared me for this! It is so
easy to get lost in the storm that is life. Responsibilities seem to out weigh my
“Me time”. Then there is the BATTLE of feeling guilty if you DO carve out a
moment for yourself. I should be doing this! Or I really need to be spending time
playing Ponies with my daughter. I SHOULD be working on her numbers and
letters. SHOULD she be able to read by now? Good Grief….she is only four!
Whatever it may be that seems to keep calling you to DO what you think you
SHOULD be doing, instead of investing a little time in yourself. I call that the
“SHOULD’S”. And I let them get the better of me at times and I can see it in my
clients too. Especially us Mothers. Whether they are new to parenting or have
been wrangling youngins’ for years, the SHOULD’S are a real epidemic! The guilt
is so heavy that you can’t even enjoy the time you do carve out for yourself. See
why I call it a storm?!

…….Until I start to see how that precious time carved out for my clients starts
effecting their lives and I see how it impacts my own…..pause and breath here!

I recently read in my Girls Gone Strong Pre-& Postnatal Coaching Certification
the importance of finding a way to maximize positivity in your clients lives. Talk
about timing! How Positive emotions are the first element of well-being,
according to Marty Seligman, a psychologist -writer and researcher of positive
psychology. He developed a theory of what well- being truly is. When we say we
are happy and not stressed we are in a state of well-being. Unfortunately this is
not a state that stays around for too long. Life interrupts again with the daunting
list of responsibilities and whatever drama decides to come knocking! Oh yeah
and then there is that little issue of the “ SHOULD’S” tugging at your heart yet
again.

Marty describes the five elements of Well-Being as:

1. Positive Emotion
2. Engagement (or Flow)
3. Relationships
4. Meaning and Purpose
5. Achievement

He describes well-being as more than happiness. Feeling in a good mood and
having positive emotions. Not having negative emotions and feelings. Feeling
satisfied with your life and contentment/fulfillment. Being able to function in a
positive way. Of course all this is predetermined by genetics and temperament. In
each of these categories there are habits we can develop to encourage our own
well-being.

The “me time” I so dearly love is found in the FLOW state. In the gym. Whether it
is solely found there or in other hobbies or activities such as playing a musical
instrument or shooting hoops or kicking soccer balls into a goal. Its an activity
that takes you to a place where time stands still….a calm in the storm. During
this time, my hour of lifting weights, I don’t worry about being a mom, wife, friend,
paying bills, groceries, family drama…you name it! I am completely engaged and
in the ZONE. After a FLOW session I am much more able to deal with the
swirling of life’s storm and my many responsibilities. This feeling helps me to see
that yes carving out some me time actually helps my ability to weather the storm.
But not only just survive each day but find my fulfillment and well-being state of
mind. As a coach I see how after a month or so of set training sessions for my
clients that their realization of this FLOW state actually adds to their lives and
hasn’t taken anything away from them. The only thing taken away from them is
the temporary SHOULD’S. Their lives seem to move more smoothly and when
faced with adversity their well-being state of mind allows them to handle it without
the storm swirling them out of control.

Focusing in on Marty’s second element, engagement (Flow), is only achieved by
being active physically or psychologically and is like a drop of water in life’s pond.
Each ring in the water affecting the next in a positive manner. The ripple effect.
Giving time for yourself to feel your true FLOW state affects every Element in a
positive way. So pick up an old hobby that you say you don’t have time for or go
hiking on Saturday mornings….whatever it may be. I encourage all of you to find
your spot where time ceases to exist and you are in your zone! You are worth it. I
am worth it and say goodbye to the SHOULD’S. You have found the calm in
storm. I’ll see you in the gym!

Mary Ann Smith, maryann@forge-rx.com