Be Your Best You

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by Carol Harrison; Carol’s Corner

Ideas flit through my mind like a butterfly in a garden of wildflowers. Just as I think I have one cornered it slips away. Occasionally, one lights for a few seconds and I make plans to add substance to this beginning of something wonderful but I can’t move forward to capture it or add to it.

When weariness envelops me the ideas flit faster and faster but never materialize, or disappear without being entertained long enough to know if they are viable—if they will suit me and where I need to be, do and go. Over the last few weeks, I have been reminded of the importance of rest through a lack of it.

I had enjoyed a time of good health with my asthma under control, the sleep apnea responding well to a CPAP machine and life settling into our new routines since my husband had retired. I had many plans circulating in my mind, ideas flitting to and fro and hope of accomplishing great things in the near future.

Then night after night of restless sleeps due to central sleep apnea, and I felt as if I had run a marathon each night. Daytime drowsiness, headaches and lethargy invaded my life. The harder I tried to corral the ideas and think through each step of my writing, speaking and storytelling journey the less sure I became of what my best self should look like. Being tired added stress and allowed the negative monkey voices too much power as they nattered in my head.

The nurse adjusted my CPAP machine several times and finally, nights of rest gave new perspectives on ideas. I needed to let go of frustrations, lost days due to exhaustion and possibly some of the many ideas that had flitted in and out so many times.

To be my best self requires rest and self-care. I need to be honest with any schedule I make for myself and never forget to allow time to be refreshed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Through a time of learning, courtesy of my oldest daughter, I discovered once again who I am, what excites me and where I should focus my energy.

I love to learn. I desire to organize my space better than it is but that is a great challenge which might need someone to walk alongside me to accomplish it. But what came out the highest as we chatted about things she had learned and shared with me, is my personality. Who I am involves care.

I learn so I can care for others in various ways including coaching and mentoring. I learn so I can grow in my abilities but they circle back to being authentic, approachable and caring. This surprised me when it came out higher than learning but made so much sense. Now as rest restores me, I know my best self requires caring for me so I can care for others.

Being my best self means using my abilities and gifts to encourage others, mentor them and help them reach their fullest potential in a variety of areas. This, in turn, nourishes me. I need to learn to let go of the negative monkey voices and focus on the positives. I need to let go of ideas that sound great or that others might think would be a good fit for me and honestly evaluate them based on who I am and where I need to go on my life journey. My faith needs to be my center throughout the restful times and the weary ones too.

This is me. A storyteller, writer, speaker, and mentor who must learn how it all works together as I chase the butterfly ideas in the wildflower garden spread before me.

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