How I'm kicking 'overwhelm' to the curb...

For as long as I can remember, I've been busy. Classes, rehearsals, performances, personal projects, work, errands- the list is endless and I know I'm not alone in this. The whole idea of being "busy" is a topic for another day, but what I really want to focus on right now is what seems like the inevitable feeling of "overwhelm" that comes with life today.

Or at least in the way I always thought it was inevitable...

Until just recently.

When I first set my word for 2016- "Be" - I honestly wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I felt so sure that it was the right choice for me right now and yet part of me kept judging myself for it being too passive and laid back a word. I had no idea that this idea of "be"-ing would lead me to some really important personal discoveries that would start to help me deal with the anxiety and desire to overcome perfectionism that I fight so frequently.

Now, I'm not saying my way of fighting this whole thing is something that would work for everyone. I'm not so smug as to not realize that many peoples' lives are far more complicated than my own. However! I think the things I've learned in a little bit of soul searching so far this year are ideas that could potentially inspire other people in their own journeys. So if that's you, enjoy!

It's this whole idea of identifying and living by your core values.

That's it.

My life was so overrun by outside stimuli and expectations that my own wants and personal beliefs had really become clouded. It had been a while since I had stopped to really think about what my most important values were. No wonder I kept feeling anxious and worried about disappointing people in any given random activity. I hadn't taken the time to connect with my own core in far too long. What do I care about? What are my priorities? Screw what people might think or say- at my core, what truly matters to me.

I asked myself these questions and for me, right now, this is what my list is looking like-

Authenticity. Self-motivated. Comfort. Bright. Compassionate. Family. Grounded. Creativity. Active.

After doing this, I discovered VERY quickly that the things that were bringing me the most stress were things that in some way conflicted with this list of core values. And by identifying these and starting to act accordingly through them, I found my decision making process and honestly, just day to day life, became so much easier. Of course this list can shift at any given moment. Of course there's times when I forget to check-in with myself. But I'm finding time and again that this simple little list of words and ideas keep me being fully me. They're allowing me to "be."

Such a simple concept. I can't believe it took me this long to get here.

And so I hope I'll continue to grow and experience what living from my core values truly means. This is just the beginning of this sort of self-discovery adventure. I can tell it's going to be a good one.