We are in a season of change.
Earlier this week the sun moved into Virgo, marking the start of “Virgo season” in the Zodiacal wheel. Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac. It is a mutable sign, which means it brings us a change in season.
I tend to find this time of year holds more “new year” energy than the end of December.
This back-to-school time, a season of new notebooks that are filled with the potential of what will emerge on their blank pages.
It’s the season of new routines, rituals, and habits.
If you want to make a lasting change, it helps to work with the energy of the seasons.
This is the season where changes have the greatest potential to stick.
9 years ago today, I made a simple change that has had a profound impact on my life: I decided to take my own needs seriously.
I had been so intent on serving others that my needs had taken a back seat. I was waking up with my phone in my hand, checking email before my eyes were even open, living in reaction to the needs of clients.
Often, I was hitting snooze for hours in the morning, because I just couldn’t bear to face another day in reactivity. I felt like I had no control in my own life.
I was ignoring myself and my needs. Missed morning workouts could happen “later.” But later never came. When it did come, I was exhausted. Depleted. Drained.
The creative work I wanted to do was put on hold. I couldn’t cobble together even 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to start a blog or write the things I wanted to say.
I was settling for scraps in my own life.
The first step to making a change is to get real about what is no longer working.
Racing around and tending to everyone else at the expense of myself triggered resentment of the very people I wanted to serve. I realized I could not serve anyone else effectively if I was constantly scattered and burned out.
It was time to make a change.
Resolve for Real
Resolutions are lists of things you want to do. When you resolve, it means there’s no turning back.
I resolved to stop hitting snooze — literally and metaphorically — and claim my mornings for me.
No more starting my day in the rabbit hole of email or social media.
No more procrastinating on my morning workouts by giving into the little voice that said “just one 2-minute task before you go.”
No more trying to serve from an empty tank.
I resolved to get up when my alarm went off, and to get out the door as quickly as possible. No email. No social media, nothing to distract my focus.
And this is how my “Fitness First” ritual began.
I have not missed a morning workout in 9 years.
This is a season where changes tend to stick.
This is not to say that every morning is a hard-core workout. The specifics of my fitness practice and of my morning pace have gone through their own seasons. But the core essence of the intention has remained intact:
I don’t start my day in reaction to external demands.
My mornings are for me: for connecting to my body, nurturing my spirit, and nourishing my soul.
This is how I create space for my best work.
Change will feel uncomfortable, and sometimes even wrong.
Checking email upon waking up had been a habit since my first law firm job out of law school. So in the early days of my new routine, it felt strange to not check.
I felt like I was playing hooky. I felt irresponsible.
What if someone needed to reach me?
With time, the emotional angst around not checking eased. These days, I sometimes go days without checking email. I’ve taken significant breaks from social media.
I soon learned that people in my world were understanding. My new approach even caused people to respect my time better.
Most crucially: because I filled my own cup in the morning, I showed up better for my clients. I was able to be more present with them, which allowed me to hear what they weren’t saying and meet needs they couldn’t articulate.
And I went from not having time to write to becoming a prolific writer. I’m now closing in on 2,000 blog posts.
- What life dreams are you snoozing on?
- What’s no longer working in your life?
- Where do you need to make a change?
This is the season for it.