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Just Lean In the Direction You Want to Go In

woman sitting by an iceberg

I am sure there isn’t a single person reading this blog post who doesn’t periodically feel like everything is derailing.

It happens to me at least every other month and every single time my routine is majorly upset by illness, an unexpected business trip, or even something as happy as family visiting. I watch my to do list turn into a monster, my home into a disaster zone, my kids’ eating habits into a calamity. And as I feel anxiety grasping at my chest, I have to remind myself to breathe in and out, in and out.

Of course, it’s not just glitches along the way that make me feel like things are derailing. Sometimes it’s the everyday grind that gets to me and makes me feel like I am spinning out of control. Suddenly, things that truly matter to me are not happening. For example, I am not taking the time to connect with my 3 year old, I am not speaking to my children in Spanish (and I really want them to grow up with their mother’s native language), and when was the last time I had a complete conversation with my husband? Not to mention, I miss my friends and would do anything to go to Pure Barre.

When I come to these crossroads, I feel so overwhelmed by the idea of getting back on track that all I want to do is read my book and eat dark chocolate (which I am convinced is a natural antidepressant). What gets me out of the funk is LYB owner Lisa Berry’s wise words. She always says: “Just lean in the direction you want to go in.”

Just lean in. I like this idea of starting small, of taking an ice pick to chip away at my iceberg. So, I begin by writing out my to do list, and then checking off the smallest item. Doing one load of laundry. Making the healthiest easy dinner I can make.

I also apply this “leaning in” philosophy to other crucially important aspects of my life: the person I want to be and the way I want to live my life. I want to be a happy, optimistic person. Unfortunately, I often let minor annoyances turn me into a flustered person instead. When I am leaning in towards being happy, I begin by simply smiling more. My second tiny step is to intentionally respond to my children and husband with joy instead of the frustration I am feeling. When it comes to the way I want to live my life, my dream is to do so with gratitude for the opportunity to evolve spiritually and with appreciation for the huge amount of resources it takes to keep me alive. It’s a tall order even when I am not feeling overwhelmed, so I inch towards it by saying a prayer of thanks every morning and every night, and by making the time to have conversations with people who remind me of this goal of my life.

The genius of Lisa’s advice is that the iceberg is more fragile than it seems. A few taps of that ice pick can create fissures that make the whole shatter. It happened to me most recently after my baby had roseola. Given the proximity to Christmas and all it entails (time off from school, buying gifts, preparing for guests, etc), I was particularly anxious after three sleepless nights and four days without childcare. What I came to see pretty quickly is that my anxiety had made a mountain out of a molehill. Yes, it wasn’t fun to cram so much work into a couple of days of catch up, but once I started getting things done, I realized I could handle it. And in no time, my train was back on track!

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