Permission Slips

The last month I have had writer’s block. Like… really bad.

I sit down to blog and I stare at the screen with zero words coming to my brain and eventually I find myself back on Instagram, or Facebook, or cleaning the kitchen. I just haven’t had much to say.

Teaching is so much fun. I love my job, truly I do. It’s hard, though, transitioning from my time at home focusing on writing and mothering and fitness coaching – to being a full time educator of 26 ten year old humans (on top of that previous list).

So. In order to be present and doing my best, sometimes other passions get put on hold. I have to remind myself of just how OKAY and HEALTHY that is.

I thought maybe you, dear reader, needed this reminder too.

One thing that my 5th graders are constantly doing is asking for permission. It’s a regular practice in school to ask permission to leave the room, to ask permission to look something up on the computer, to ask permission to bring cupcakes the next day…

I’ve seen lots of people posting about giving yourself permission to do certain things. I love this movement. So here’s my take!

Today, give yourself permission to pause something that is taking mental space that you don’t actually have.

Today, give yourself permission to prioritize needs in order to be better at pursuing passion later.

Today, give yourself permission to do be present and focused wherever you are, rather than worrying about what is happening where you are not.

It’s a refreshing reminder – and a humility check – every time I realize that the blogging community really isn’t thinking about me (at all) as much as I am thinking about it. Everyone is out there doing their thing and sharing as they have time, energy, and ideas. 

What a gift to be able to hop on here when I have the energy and brain capacity to share what I find valuable or inspiring in that moment.

So, now that I’m nearing the end of this post I feel like I have a couple more things to say. (You’re welcome and also, welcome to my spazzy brain.)

Giving yourself permission to focus on today with less worry and less juggling doesn’t mean giving yourself permission not to take care of yourself and your commitments.

Here are my non-negotiables for healthy living and staying present. These are things that I cannot and will not put on hold. I push through them and into them because they keep me afloat. 

  1. Family time. I am always mom. I am always wife. I am always family member. I will show up, time and time again and do what is needed to keep these relationships healthy. The beauty of this, is they will do the same for me. 
  2. Exercise. I will not ever consider exercise merely a passion that can be set on a back burner. Daily (intentional) movement of my muscles is a necessary component to me showing up to work and showing up for my family as a healthy me. *Let me note that there is a difference between exercise for health, and exercise for passion. I started running this summer for passion! I was hoping to run a 10k in October. As my school year started,  I realized this wasn’t feasible. I put the 10k on  the back burner – but I didn’t stop doing my daily workouts. There is a difference between working out for health, and working out for passion.

  3. My heart/mind. Y’all – I need to be filled up to be present. If I cut out time reading life giving  words, seeing/talking to the people who encourage me, or taking time to just be still – I will lose it completely. So, when I say putting certain things on the back burner I am not including the basic practice of taking care of my heart and mind.
  4. Food. Yes, it might feel easier to swing through the McDonald’s drive through for the fourth time this week than plan out and prep your lunches, but it is not actually easier in the long run. Bad food is bad for our bodies. It doesn’t help us function at our best, in fact it slows us down and causes us to lose momentum where we should have stamina. I still eat donuts and fries and carbs – I just try not to make it a habit. I focus on eating vegetables. Drinking lots of water. Limiting sugar. I eat smart, so that I can live smart.

If you are feeling overwhelmed today… If you aren’t able to be present where you are at on any given day – stop and make a list of all the things you are doing and focusing on!

Now, circle your non-negotiables.

Next, cross out the things that can be put on hold for awhile, until you have your bearings.

Finally, breathe a sigh of relief and write yourself a literal permission slip to let each of the things you crossed off go. (You can take it a step further by writing yourself a literal permission slip for each of your non-negotiables too!)

Examples of literal permission slips I have written myself recently:

  • You have permission to focus on survival.
  • You have permission to eat that cupcake.
  • You have permission to take a weekend at home, instead of running a 10k.
  • You have permission to snuggle your kids for an extra hour instead of forcing a blog post out.
  • You have permission to post a non-aesthetically pleasing photo on Instagram, because no one cares as much as you about what you post!
  • You have permission to say no to that person you keep saying yes to.
  • You have permission to love fitness and not feel embarrassed about it.
  • You have permission to sit and do nothing.

This was good for me! Life is busy, but life is good. Making space for letting things go and making space for buckling down on the things that are needed – this is a necessary component of healthy living.

Keep pushing for joy, friends. Give yourself permission to pursue passion and permission to pause passion depending on the situation.