I’m always looking for a good book, and this month I started reading the Marianne Willimason’s “A Return to Love”, a self help classic. (In the early 90s, this was Oprah’s jam.) This past weekend, I was struck so much by one passage I have repeated it several times to friends and stylists.
“…ambitious tension actually limits our ability to succeed because it keeps us in a state of contraction, emotionally and physically. It seems to give us energy but doesn’t really, like the white sugar of mental health; there’s a short high, followed by a crash. The cultivation of mental rest, or surrender, is like eating healthy food. It doesn’t give us an immediate rush, but over time it provides a lot more energy.”
I spent my 20s in Washington, D.C. and the early years as a Stella & Dot stylist making myself absolutely miserable by postponing my happiness to a certain date or achievement.
It started innocently enough: when I have an office with a window, I know I will have made it. When my boss gives me an office issued — BlackBerry! — then I will have made it. Soon it became, when I have those designer shoes, when I I have that perfect boyfriend, when I make a certain amount of money, when I promote to a certain level, when my team grows to the perfect size, when I have the perfect house, car … and on it went.
For daily motivation, I would scare myself to death, working myself into a terrified lather, operating out of a place of fear rather than love. There’s nothing worse than calling to ask for a trunk show when the voice in the back of your mind says your business is cratering and you’ll be homeless if you don’t book shows. That’s how extreme my thinking was!
At one point, I was meeting with my therapist in the middle of a work day, feeling completely guilty that I was there and planning on going to Costco afterwards. Shouldn’t I be working instead? She looked at me and said, “Be the boss you want — not the boss you hate.”
So instead of beating myself up, I try really hard to be as kind to myself as I would to another person. Working from a place of love, I do accomplish more! I also am calmer, happier, and more content that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
What do you do to take care of yourself? The gym? A book? A night out?
Whatever it is, make time for it this week, and try to get that mental rest that will allow you to be your best self.
Come to think of it, while you’re at it, why not check out our gorgeous spring collection? It is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.