A Letter From Me to You

 

Hey!  I'm Nicola, part-time Physiotherapist, full-time dog-mum, writer and nature photographer.  I'm also the Stories Editor for Creative Countryside.  And I'm here to share my personal journey of embodying calm, embracing simplicity and exploring happiness in my life.


Each week I connect with my community by sending out 'A Letter From Me to You'.  

These letters are where I share my personal insights, wisdom (or lack of as the case may be) and lessons I'm learning along the way in my own life.

This space is a little more personal than what I share on social media or my blog posts.  And it's a space where I hope we can connect and get to know each other a little better.

I would love for you to join me there!

 

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And here's a little preview of the letters I write

each week ...

 

I hope you've had a wonderful week since I last talked to you.  Apart from having two ratbag dogs take themselves off for an overnight adventure mine has been pretty good.  I've really simplified my life this year and so far it's working.  I'm spending more time doing things I enjoy and less time stressed about having to do things I don't enjoy.  And who doesn't want more of that!

Which brings me to the topic of this letter.  It's all about giving you permission to say no.  

Last year the majority of clients I saw in the clinic or coached privately were experiencing some sort of physical pain because they had taken on too much in their lives.  This overload of 'things to do' was causing them to feel chronically stressed.  And this stress was manifesting as pain.  The pain was their body's way of telling them that things were out of  balance and something needed to give. Some clients listened and healed their body. Others didn't and burnt themselves out.

Being busy has become our default.  And it's stressing us out.  We all say we crave time and space, but we never make the changes needed to give this to ourselves.  We fill our days with endless tasks, social engagements and things we think we 'should do' - because everyone out there is telling us we should be journaling, going to yoga and meditating twice a day..  And then when we do have a spare moment we get panicky and fill it with mindless tasks like scrolling through social media.  

The truth is that there is not a lot you actually 'have' to do.  If someone is paying you to turn up to work then you do have to do that.  You do have to pay your bills and taxes. And if you have kids then you obviously need to make sure they turn up at school.  Plus I think showering regularly is pretty important as well. But apart from that, you get to choose how you spend your days.  

I do know what it's like to feel you have to do and say yes to everything.  I used to be a chronic over-achiever and doer.  I also thought I had to do everything myself.  But it did nothing except stress me out and make me constantly tired and grumpy.  Then one day I just got to the point where I knew I had to make a change.  So I did.    

I started by looking at the time I had available outside of things I had to do and then asking myself how I really wanted to fill it.  Because I knew I had to start saying no to things.  I let go of a lot of things I thought I 'should' be doing as well.  In fact I let go of everything I thought I 'should' be doing and just did those things I wanted to.  

That last sentence is actually the key to getting unbusy.  So over the next couple of weeks I would really encourage you to look at everything you are currently saying yes to and ask yourself ... 'is this something I think I should be doing or something I really want to do'?  

And I am giving you permission to say no to ANYTHING you want to.  I promise if you stop journaling, meditating and going to yoga your life will not fall apart.  If you decide you don't want to spend 20 minutes making a green smoothie in the morning I promise your health won't suddenly fail.  And if you want to say no to weekly catch ups with friends, taking your kids to a million different after school activities or the extra shift at work I promise you will survive.  In fact I'm willing to bet my bulldog that you will feel better for it (actually I better choose one of the other dogs because if I loose my fiancé's beloved bulldog my life will actually be over!).  

And just before I go I want to let you know what my life largely consists of at the moment. Apart from what I do have to do (like work, grocery shopping and cleaning) I have chosen to spend my time walking my dogs, going out to dinner occasionally with my fiancé, spending time in the garden, reading and watching whatever DVD series we currently working our way through.  That is it.  And it is absolutely fine if those things change at some stage.  Maybe I will want to start journaling again.  But at the moment it's a 'should' and not a 'want to'.  So it's not on the list.  

How you choose to design your days and spend your life minutes is completely up to you.  I'm never going to tell you how to do that.  But I am going to encourage you to keep asking the question, ''Is this something I think I should be doing or something I want' to do?  I will leave those answers to you.