Rest and Recovery

 

Today is a big day. It’s July 4th. A celebration of independence in the United States. A day of remembering and celebrating what freedom means and reflecting on it for a few moments.

We all know there are so many people in the world that don’t have their independence and freedom and while today represents an important milestone in American history, it also reminds me to be incredibly grateful for the freedom I have and experience daily. I am free to think, free to travel, free to move, free to explore, free to talk with who I want to, free to spend time with people I want to, free to eat what I choose, free to play, free to rest, free to work, free to believe, free to love, free to participate, free to opt out, free to opt in, free to be me.

A friend shared this image of a gift she’d received and it felt incredibly poignant for many reasons and inspired a few lessons:

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  1. Recovery Mode - In the busyness of life, how much time do we each plan for recovery and rest? We are not built to be ‘on’ 24/7, yet so many of us seem to have set up our own lives to be full throttle night and day.

    Action No.1 - Begin by giving yourself permission to create unscheduled, unplanned down time and see what happens.

  2. Reflection Time - In three years of building a startup I have noticed and learned more vividly than ever before from my personal experience and from talking with many founders, CEOs and advisors how much self-reflection and awareness is an important part of life. Giving yourself permission to be brave and really spending time being curious about what you believe, value, and desire is critical to your growth and success. It can begin with talking with others, but often others can only offer advice they would give themselves and that might not be aligned to who you are and what you want.

    Action No.2 - There is a power in self reflection and learning to trust your own instincts and exploring your own desires.

    How to begin? Try the app calm.com or start writing to tease out what you really want. Either just start writing in a blank book and see what comes out, or if you want a little help a guided book like ‘Start Where You Are’ can help.

  3. Release Expectations - From a thoughts perspective we are as free as we choose to be. It is our thinking that puts boundaries and expectations around us. How many of the choices you make are truly because you want to do them vs obligations or expectations you believe you have to participate in? Are you at a BBQ today because you want to be there or because you feel obligated to be there? Maybe this is the first time you’re considering this question - what do you believe?

    Action No. 3 - Give yourself permission to release expectations, get curious and have fun with the idea of “What would I choose to do today if work, health, money, time, family and friends were not part of my decision?” “What feels good for today?”

    This exercise can often instill feelings of resistance but remember you are not committing to anything here, you’re not setting it in stone, you’re merely giving your mind permission to imagine. Oh, imagine you say? Oh, I can do that, that’s fun.