Balance, Self Care and The FamVac

Last night, I did my first Facebook Live (embedded below). I was super nervous as I haven't been in front of an audience in years. Granted, I was behind a laptop, but still, it was a huge step for me.  I was in choir and theater in high school, was on the other side of the camera in a few commercials while in Seattle, have modeled here and there but it's been a long time since I've done anything like that. I declared the theme of this year to be "courageously vulnerable and vulnerably courageous" and in the spirit of that, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and start doing some live streams.

I didn't prepare as much as I would have liked. I had the topic in my head for about a week and I had planned to spend an hour or two preparing my talking points and collecting resources to share. Real life got in the way and I only had about 20 minutes to prepare! Eeeeek! 

While I was nervous and felt unprepared, It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I watched the video and found many places where I can improve for the next one. But hey, we all can improve all the time! After jumping into my first stream, I'm emotionally ready for the next!

For those of you who watched it, the resources and recap I promised can be found below. THANK YOU  for your support!

Recap:

  • There are no magic bullets to staying balanced! Every day requires a review and recalibration of how to organize and prioritize your time.
  • Some priorities will dominate your time one day or for a week or a month while others fall back and that's ok. 
  • Systems to support your balance take energy and time, but pay off in both the short and long term.
  • Try to remember that you're doing the best you can with what you have at that time and that is enough! Be easy on yourself if you don't get everything done.

FamVac (tm)

The "FamVac" came about when my friend Heather and I were talking about balance. I love my kids and love supporting them but SOMETIMES, taking care of the family and household as the sole provider can take me away from other duties and get me out of balance. There are days that I aim to dive into work, or want to exercise, or hang with friends and the household duties can suck me in. This is what we coined to be the FamVac. It's a joke, but also real. We all have vacuums that can throw us off balance. Getting back to center, remembering your boundaries and being ok with your choices seems to be key in staying centered and staying balanced. 

One Step at a Time:

There was a point a couple years ago when I needed pretty much a full recalibration in my life. I choose to tackle one area of my life at a time with no expectations on result and with no self-imposed timeline. I waited until I felt that aspect was feeling mostly integrated before I moved onto the next.  I know that has helped me build a very strong foundation that supports all areas of my life. And I'm still learning and growing and to be honest, I'm still in this process! I still check in with myself everyday to look at all the pieces, look for ways that I can improve and do my best to find a healthy balance between them. It takes time, but it's worth it!

The basis of all of this is self-care. I check in with myself through mediation, journaling, a gratitude practice and self-awareness to tap into what I need to feel right by myself and those around me. Self-care is of the utmost importance in supporting yourself and creating the life you desire. 

Steps/Areas that I tackled:

  • Emotional and mental health
    • Getting centered through meditation  and reaching out to mental health professionals for support.
  • Spiritual health
    • Tapping into source (the Universe, God, whatever word feels best to you) to increase my faith that I am supported beyond the physical plane
  • Relationships (personal, family, work, etc.)
    • finding my boundaries and communicating them; rebuilding important relationships and letting go of those that no longer served.
  • Physical health
    • letting go on unhealthy habits, exercising, home cooking
  • Environment
    • improving your home or workplace surroundings: removing clutter, painting the walls, add plants, etc.
  • Career
    • Getting clear on career goals and taking one step at a time to move toward those goals
  • Financial health
    • Creating a budget, tracking income and expenses, etc.

Resources:

  • Calendars, calendars, calendars!!!!
    • NeaYear calendars (I LOVE THESE!!!)
    • Phone calendar/computer calendar/Google calendar integration
  • Google Docs and Google Drive--the best free resource!
    • Make weekly to-do lists in each area of your life that you would like to prioritize and balance. 
  • Ask for help when you need it!
    • Hire help, have groceries delivered (INSTACART!), reach out to friends, family, therapists and pastors...whoever you can think of who can help support you.
  • Google Sheets for budgeting money and time. Faves below:

For the full stream, please check out below. Thank you again for your support and feel free to reach out with comments, suggestions, questions, etc. 

Looking Ahead

 
 

As I've been moving through this journey called life, I've experienced some major changes in the last few years.  Honestly, I'm guessing we all have. It's been a crazy road for many of us replete with both challenges and joyful times to celebrate. I can't say it's been boring!

Along the way, I've discovered how to be vulnerable, how to surrender, how to honor myself through self-care and through setting boundaries. I've learned how to healthily give and receive. I've learned how to say yes to myself and I've learned that if your heart is not screaming "f*ck yeah" to something, it's a no.  Last but not least, I've learned to let my own light shine. I've started sharing some of my journey more publicly, after "hermit-ing" away for a while.  As I've become more open in sharing my experiences and lessons,  I've had friends and even people that I don't know reach out to me to let me know that my vulnerability and sharing more of myself on a personal level has been inspiring to them to do the same. 

And so, I've come to a place where I am no longer willing to hide behind my camera and my work. It's not enough for me anymore to simply display what I've created.  I want to continue authentically and vulnerably sharing with you on both personal and work levels: lessons I've learned along my journey, silly stories, art, fashion and music that inspires me, spiritual musings, BTS stories from shoots, systems that I use for success, and last but not least, photography tips, tricks and resources.

As I've been working on my re-brand and launch to better encompass my new intentions, I've also realized that the new driving goal behind it all is that I aim to serve as many of you as possible through my business. In addition to my regular photography and directing work (and side hobby of music!), I'll be offering more workshops in person (available soon online and streaming), free downloads, digital products, print purchasing, and specials.

Let's share this beautiful journey together. 
xo Suzie