In 2022, I did not take my usual approach to self-care. I worked out way less, let go of goals, ate plenty of bread and cheese and at the start of this new year, I find that I feel far more connected to my true self than ever. No, it has nothing to do with my dairy intake (or does it?).
Here are some of the game changers for me in 2022, that I am happily taking with me into 2023.
I joined a co-working space.
This is a big one. I work from home, which has a myriad of perks including unlimited time with my dog, cooking all my meals if I want to, and the ability to work from anywhere in the world. I gotta say though, it started to lose its charm in 2022, and I found myself craving human connection more than ever, and the energy that comes with working from a space separate from the one in which you rest.
Working from coffee shops here and there is a nice of change space, but there isn’t really much opportunity for connection. I took matters into my own hands and got a part-time membership at a local co-working space in West Palm Beach called The Studio 1016. Part-time is perfect for me because there are plenty of days I still love to be at home, and I can’t really be separated from dog for too long (it’s me, not her). Here are just some of the benefits of having this great space to go to:
• It elevates my level of focus to a whole new stratosphere. There’s music playing, I can hear the sound of people chatting and on business calls, it’s colorful and freezing cold because of the AC. All of these things help me stay laser-focused, and on days when I need to get a lot of writing done, or deep focused analysis, it’s absolutely perfect.
• I have IRL coworkers! Over the course of these past few months, I’ve formed connections with several of the regulars, and it lifts my spirits to see them and chat with them. They are also happy to see me, which lifts my spirits even more! It’s fun to check in with folks, chitchat, exchange hugs, go for midday walks. I really really love it, and this space in particular attracts an awesome crew of loving, creative, intelligent people.
• I have more energy at the end of the workday when I work from there. I zoom home with vigor to kiss my boyfriend and walk my dog and it feels fantastic.
I did grief recovery with Agnes.
What is grief recovery and who is Agnes? Grief recovery is something every adult should do because we’re all suffering from loss, and Agnes is the genius that can expertly guide you through it.
The most Earth-shifting event for me in 2022 was the death of my beloved Grandmother. I worked with Agnes, and she led me through a grief recovery program that unearthed deep wells of grief ready to be completed. The end result is feeling like a happier, more whole, more loving human with an entirely new capacity for love, happiness, and wholeness. I honestly can’t recommend it enough, and working with her helped guide me to my next major wellbeing upgrade.
I let go of my side gig.
Oh the side gig. I don’t know about where you live, but in America, the side gig, and entrepreneurship in general, is help up so high on a pedestal, and I did my part holding it up there. Even with a demanding and fulfilling full time job, I continuously pressured myself to be doing something else, building my own coaching practice, making more money, etc etc. It was exhausting, and always left me with the feeling that I wasn’t doing enough.
I let it go. Not in a flash. It’s been a slow letting go from within, and being present with how I feel. The best part has been acknowledging how much coaching I do everyday at work, and that my work stimulates and challenges me intellectually and emotionally. The even better best part is that when I’m done with my work day, I devote my time to creative endeavors: writing and art. I even submitted an essay to the New York freakin Times in 2022! Whether or not it gets published is TBD, but submitting felt like a huge triumph.
I picked up my sketchbook, and haven’t put it back down.
When I let go of my side gig, I gave myself permission to create purely for joy and zero professional or monetary benefit. I signed up for a course on Domestika.org and started drawing regularly in my sketchbook. It feels so right, so freeing, so energizing. I LOVE IT!!
Adulthood left my passion for art in the dust. Every once in a while, I would dust it off, but it just couldn’t find its place, despite tugging at my heart strings fairly regularly. My creative self has really suffered in silence for a long time, and now that she’s getting her time in the sun, I don’t think she’ll ever go back into hiding again.
If any of this was interesting or inspiring to you, my guidance is to sit down, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself: If I could prioritize ANYTHING in my life right now, free of guilt or obligation, zero strings attached, what would it be? See what comes, write it down, and reflect on what it would take to actually make it happen.
What if your priority was to take a bubble bath at least 3 evenings a week? Or to go on long meandering walks with no time limit or destination? Or to write poetry? There are endless possibilities. Open up. See what comes. And if you feel like sharing, I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on.
Happy New Year,
P.S. Links for some of what I mentioned…
• Grief Recovery with Agnes Kowalski
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