on retreat (with organic raspberries)

Martha Beck Certified Life Coach - Julie Lamonica

Good morning, Dear Sugar Shells,

It's Friday, October 23, and that means I'm on retreat! So today's letter (below) is one I wrote last month - both to support my own sanity and also to share a goody that generated lots of happy responses...you know, in the very small percentage of you who used to spend valuable time digging through your Junk email folder to find this letter. (Thank you for that, forever. You know who you are!)

If you're wondering why you didn't have to excavate your Junk folder to find this letter today, it's because I've learned a few things recently about spam filters. I am certainly not a tech genius (!) but hopefully I've made enough tweaks behind the scenes to crack this little puzzle.

As ever, thank you very much for reading my work. It's an honor to be in your inbox.

With much love and gratitude,

* * * * *

These days, I take a lot of naps:  from quick cat-naps to a ninety-minute deep sleep, I'm becoming a connoisseur of daytime rest.  I work from home so I'm generally about fifteen steps away from either my sofa or my bed, and that is damn convenient, I know.  But more to the point, I actually allow myself to rest when I need to - sometimes, right smack in the middle of my work day.  

This new habit represents a significant change (except for the time I lived in Mexico and participated in the custom of siesta - which was soooo hard, really).  

I used to completely disdain naps, along with all kinds of other rest, care, and support.  For example, up until two years ago, I slaved over my own taxes every year.  I'd spend hours trying to get everything right.  Similarly, I would allow myself a massage approximately once every 18 months, I'd skip buying the organic raspberries, and I'd religiously avoid buying any piece of clothing that commanded "DRY CLEAN ONLY" on the label no matter how much I yearned for that beautiful item.  Without realizing it, I was being ludicrously hard on myself.  As Mary Oliver might put it, I was forcing myself to walk through the desert on my knees, trying to be good.  (I allude to her lovely poem "Wild Geese," included below for your Friday reading pleasure.) 

Now, not only do I nap like a champion, but also I pay for support services with total alacrity.  And I think you should, too.

Mind you, I am an entrepreneur.  If I don't work, my bank accounts sit empty.  This is not exaggeration.  I literally must engage in revenue-generating activities to make money (and last I checked, napping doesn't really qualify).  

But here's the thing:  my time is actually not my most valuable resource.  And neither is yours.

(NOTE:  These sentences count as downright heresy in some circles - especially some entrepreneurial ones.  Those of you lovely international readers might already know that, from a larger cultural sense, Americans learn that time is money.  Therefore, time is our most valuable resource, right??)

What I've learned is that I am my most valuable resource.  Yup.  Me, myself, and I.  Not my time, my money, my house, my car, or anything else.

Because I am the engine that drives everything else in my life.  Everything in my life depends on me, and everything works a whole hell of a lot better when I am not run down, exhausted, sick, or overwrought.

This is why self-care is not selfish, silly, or frivolous.  My life simply does not work without it.  And I bet that's true for you, too...whether you're a parent, a leader, the Pope, an entrepreneur, or anything else.  We don't enjoy or accomplish anything when we've burned ourselves down to the ground.

Whenever I've invested in my own care and expansion, I've earned massive dividends. 

This is why I pay for an accountant, a bookkeeper, a therapist, and TWO different coaches.  This is why I buy organic food and a gym membership.  This is why I get massages, manicures, the best acupuncture in the San Francisco Bay Area, and yes - even dry cleaning!  And, of course, this is why I nap!!  These services and things have a cost but they bring me huge profits.

You see, we have to DO things to care for ourselves and to make our lives work.  Modern life is simply too crazy and chaotic - even stupidly so, much like traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We must carve out the time, make the space, use the money.  We must.  Our lives literally depend on it.