The week that started Monday, 24th June 2019

LiLi smiles behind The Hidden Life of Trees book

In which LiLi aims for ⁠— and achieves!⁠ — a better balance of achievement, connection and enjoyment this week. And practices some of what they preach about recovering from burnout. Yay!

How are you looking after yourselves today? 💭

In order to maintain a healthy sense of wellbeing, we need to balance what we do.

We can use the acronym ACE to help us remember:

ACHIEVE – work, chores, study

CONNECT – with friends, family, community

ENJOY – play, fun, pleasure

ACE for life

One of the cognitive behavioural therapy things I find helpful is the ACE acronym. I’ve been pretty overwhelmed this week, so I’ve focused on how to bring that balance into my life more.

Achievements & rewards

I had various assessments and evaluations of my work, and myself, this week. Which has been pretty intense. Sometimes fun and I learned a lot too. I gave myself space to internalise what I learned, take a break and reward myself for Doing All The Things.

one person standing in front of a semi-circle of people sitting

Also, I led the design process for this month’s Liberating Structures London user group. Hosted by Cloudflare, near Waterloo. We had enough space for everyone who wanted to come. Yay!

It was the first time, to my knowledge, that we had someone facilitate a structure on the day from outside of the design group. Which was awesome. Thanks for volunteering, Ray.

Part of stuffing too much into too short a week is things falling out of my brain. So, I’ve been jotting things down even more lately to compensate. Watching my favourite YouTuber talk about bullet journalling reminded my how useful I’ve found it at times and I realised that, with my sabbatical coming up, it’s time to restart my practice. Here’s to supportive routines. I’m excited for July!

Rewards & celebrations

I took myself out for dinner, which was great. Tried the vegan egg at Wagamama. It was nice and so strange. The sriacha ‘yolk’ was the best part, but the ‘whites’ were the most egg-like part of it.

Choosing a side, a dessert, a juice, and a tea was the perfect combination of a variety of things without being too much – it was great.

Enjoyment, frivolity, fun & flair

I went clothes shopping. Something I do rarely, but increasingly. Julia Cameron writes about the old you “leaving and grieving, while the new you celebrates and grows strong” in week 4 of The Artist’s Way.

Specifically, this resonated strongly with me:

When we have engaged the creator within to heal us, many changes and shifts in our attitudes begin to occur… Half your wardrobe may start to look funny.

So, I went out to clothe myself and my artist anew.

I want to bear in mind that a wardrobe “stuffed with ratty old clothes does not invite new ones”. And actually of the sorting and sifting and letting go of all those items that no longer feel right for me.

Connecting to myself, my friends, my communities, the world

I went out dancing to the launch of sober queer night, Misery. The dance workshop by afrooankali helped me be more in my body and not think so much about how I looked or what people might think. Which helped me move in the ways I felt called to move. Liberating, mystical and magical.

What do you want to release or welcome?

Choosing what to release in response to this invitation, and then moving was magical. Calling to mind what to release influenced how I wanted to move and made my focus on that, not aesthetics or performance.

I danced for hours, sitting when I needed to rest. BLISS! 💃🏿

I stayed over at my friends’ place, which meant when I woke too exhausted to move or do much, I had lovely conversations about all sorts instead. Affirming, important, the foundations for the real work of life.

I love my friends.

On the importance of having fun

Earlier in the week I had a lovely lunch & natter with a friend at work. Delicious.

I’ve been dealing with some tough things this week, like the emotions surrounding health concerns of family members. I’m reminding myself of the importance of stopping to smell the rose (sometimes literally). Enjoying things in life is one way to cope with difficulties and be more resilient, so I can be there for friends & family.

I added a single piece to the work-in-progress that is completing The World’s Most Difficult Puzzle. So proud! I want to do more puzzles when I take my sabbatical, but not the world’s most difficult. Or, at least, not at first.

I went shopping for markers and dithered about which ones to get… I love fancy stationery, but I super appreciate some of the staples at Flying Tiger. Water-based markers don’t bleed through the paper like Sharpies do, and they’re so much cheaper. Still prevaricated…

Cycles of gratitude

unicorn stickers, fancy chocolate, a green pencil and an adorable pink llama thank you card, just unwrapped

So lovely to get a thank you note & gift in the post for work I did last week.

Recognition is SO IMPORTANT.

Also, in my Artist’s Way group this week, we listened to, and wrote affirmations for, each other. So uplifting.

And my friends, unbelievably blessed to have them in my life.