Take this time to reflect!

“Freedom is instantaneous the moment we accept things as they are” – Karen Maezen Miller

I know I know, just what you need, another self-help type blog post. But before you click the x and go back to your daily social media scrolling, take a couple minutes and hear me out.

Trust me, I get it. There are TONS of articles and blog posts being sent out about health, fitness, diet, nutrition, immune systems, business plans, courses you can take, you name it. What they all have in common unfortunately is this conception that because you have all this “time” being quarantined, you “should” take advantage and be “productive”. Notice I put time, should, and productive in quotation marks. That’s because those three words are all relevant to what each particular person is going through. Productive for one person might mean having a clean house and dinner ready by 5 pm, while for others may be just simply getting out of bed by noon and taking a shower. (We’ve all been there). Constantly seeing and reading these posts can have a negative impact on our mental health and psyche. We WANT to be productive, but we’re also just trying to survive. I get that.

Here’s where we can start to shift this mindset.

What if I told you that you can be productive without actually doing anything at all?

You would think that’s a trick right? There has to be some type of catch. NOPE. No trick, (treats optional 🎃 ), just facts. Or words. One word actually. That word is embrace. Yes, really EMBRACE this quarantine. The world has slowed down, dramatically. Events are cancelled, weddings are postponed, schools are online, restaurants are take-out only, gyms are closed, the list goes on. While this is not great for our economy, it IS great for us. We are finally given this opportunity to really SLOW down and REFLECT on our current lives.

But D-rob, how do I embrace the quarantine?

By first ACCEPTING it. You need to accept the current situation for what it is. It’s not going anywhere. No matter what our leaders are saying, it seems that the virus will not fully go away until we get a vaccine, which can take up to a full year. I know when people hear that time frame, they start to worry and get anxious about what that will look like. Try not to think that far ahead. Accept that time frame. Your anxiety and thoughts will not change that.

Okay, so I’ve started to embrace this, now what?

Awesome question. Once you accept and start to embrace this, you’ve already won half the battle. Now you can look inward. Really look inward. Slowing down naturally allows us to reflect on our life. This is where you can start to ask yourself some important questions. Notice I just said ASK. Not answer. You don’t have to answer anything that you are not ready for. By simply asking yourself these questions, you will trigger your subconscious to actively start answering these questions without you thinking about it. I like to call this process “marinating”. Just let those questions marinate for a while. Your answers will come to you when they are ready.

I want to reflect and ask myself the right questions, but I’m afraid I won’t know what to ask. What are some good questions to ask myself?

This process can scare people away because we don’t know the correct questions to ask. And for each person the questions will be noticeably different. Here are three general questions to get your ball rolling. (Physical Education teacher reference 🏀).

1) Are you happy with your current _____?

Simple, but effective. Are you actually happy? Happy with your job? Your relationship? Friends? Health? Weight? Whatever the topic is can apply. Happiness is something that gets overlooked. We get comfortable with our current situation and are often blinded by that level of comfort. However, comfort is not always happiness. Ask yourself that question with each topic and let those marinate for a while. No rush to answer. Remember, you now have all this “time”.

2) If you can change anything in your life, what would that be?

Change scares us. Just seeing that question probably made you cringe. That’s normal. Hopefully for you, the weight of that question is lifted somewhat because you do not need to come up with an answer. Just ask the question. That’s it. Simple.

3) What is your DREAM ______?

Same concept as question number 1. Fill in the blank with your life, relationship, job, health. Many times, we lose track of what our dreams are, or simply become off-course. This question jumpstarts the process to get back on track. Your subconscious is filled with your inner most dreams and desires. It’s time to wake them back up.

How do I ask these questions? Do I read them aloud? Write them down? What works best?

Each person will have a different approach. What I have found that works best is writing them down with a pen and paper, like in a journal or notepad. For some people writing it in their phone works best. For others, repeating the questions aloud helps them. Find what works for you. The key is being relaxed when asking these questions. Right before you go to sleep is often the time when you are most relaxed. Use that to ask yourself these questions. As you sleep, your brain is doing ALL the work for you. Answers will come. (Just like that father who appeared in a baseball diamond in the middle of a Iowa cornfield 🤔⚾️🌽).

I hope this post serves to help you in this reflective process. Reflecting doesn’t have to be this big scary thing. We naturally are reflective creatures, the trick is quieting the noise around us. And in this time, that is the hardest part.

Be patient with this process, and be patient with yourself.

Peace and love,

D-rob ✌️🧘🏻‍♂️

If you liked this post and want to learn more about what questions to ask yourself, you may be interested in my services as a Life Coach. A qualified Life Coach will continue to help and guide you in this reflective process making sure you are asking all of the right questions. They will help you create and work towards new goals and dreams to start improving your life. If you’re interested in what I have to offer and what makes me different, click on the menu tab and select “Who is D-rob?”. That will bring you to my bio and contact information and fill you in a little bit about me. Leave your contact info or shoot me an email! I hope to hear from you soon and look forward to helping you live your best life!

Summer break is over, now what?! (Tips to help make teaching, and life, more enjoyable).

I don’t mean to sound dramatic, actually yes I do, but Summer is over. Well, not officially. Summer BREAK is over. Yes. The break that teachers and students get from the last day of school in June to the last week in August. (A much-NEEDED break let me tell you). However, starting tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. that break is over with, and many teachers like myself, start the 2019-2020 school year.

Here is one question I will be continually asking myself as I prepare to embark on another school year adventure. (I called it an adventure purposely 🧘🏻‍♂️). Even if you are not a teacher, you can use this question yourself whenever you feel stressed or lacking motivation with your job or in your life.

What’s my why?

This is a question I am going to put on my desk and remind myself daily. There is one sole reason I became a teacher, and that is because I love to help people, and for many other teachers I bet the answer is similar. Last year was THE most stressful and most challenging school year I’ve had to date. (I am starting my 7th year teaching and 9th in the district). And it really can be traced to one simple thing, I forgot my “why”. My why is the rewarding feeling I get from the positive relationships I form with all of my students. My why is the joy I receive when students shout and wave and give me daps (a form of greeting). My why is the satisfaction I get when students come back after finishing middle school and tell me how much they missed my class. My why’s are not difficult answers. There are loads more. I want to see them learn, grow, and ultimately become compassionate, well rounded adults that are happy with themselves and put forth great energy into the world to make the world a better place. My why is to change the current trajectory of the world and planet. (Our earth is getting worse if you haven’t noticed, have you seen or heard about the Amazon fires? Or the amount of plastic and garbage in our Oceans? But those topics are for another time). My mission this year is not to forget that. No matter what my bosses or colleagues or anyone says or does, I will not forget my why’s.

There is a big IF with that question. And with teachers, that “if” is stress. With any profession its stress really. And overtime if stress builds up then our physical bodies won’t be able to mentally respond to asking the “What’s our why?” question. It won’t be motivating for us. So here is where the important part lies. You have to put yourself first. 🤯 Yup, that’s it. (Mind blowing right). How do you do that you ask? By asking more questions. (Duhhh 😝). What makes you feel alive? What brings you happiness? What brings you peace? Answer those questions and bring them with you into your work day. Don’t say you will TRY to do those things, try implies a doubt that you are going to fail. Say you WILL and CAN do those things. For me, its simply being more present during my lunch. This means enjoying my food. Not talking to anyone or checking social media. (or taking pictures of my healthy lunch. I mean it I promise 😂). It means scheduling 5-10 minutes of my lunch/plan time to meditating. It means bringing plants and salt lamps to put in my office and desk to make it more zen and peaceful. It means being more conscious and aware of shielding and protecting my sacred energy with other colleagues and my students. It means being more aware of what I’m communicating and how I am communicating to staff and students. It means letting my inner child out and ENJOYING my time teaching Physical Education. (You know actually having fun. Not like in Remember the Titans when Petey says during orientation, “Zero fun, sir”. Always have to hit you with a movie reference). It doesn’t have to be complicated. But for some reason, we as humans complicate it. We do things backwards, actually. Instead of using work as a means to LIVE LIFE, we value and prioritize work as our life. That’s not how it should be. Life should be fun. And work should be fun as well. Shame on the system for the convincing us otherwise.

If teaching, or whatever job you have, or your general life isn’t bringing you satisfaction and joy, then ask yourself those questions, ask yourself “What’s your why”, and accept whatever answers come your way.

I promise that in the process, you will learn and bring positive change to not only your work, but to your entire life. And that is the main goal.

Good luck to all of my educators, counselors, support staff, security, and school staff that will be taking on the 2019-2020 school year tomorrow. You got this. And if not, scroll back up and re-read.

As always, thank you for reading.

Peace and love,

D-rob 😎🤙✌️❤️