I am a traveler. Maybe as a result of my parents getting me on planes, trains, camels, boats & funiculars in my childhood or my innate love of exploring people & places. I thrive on change, energy, differences, new.  As an entrepreneur & divorced mother of three, I now have more time to travel.

This weekend I headed out of town – a 7 ½-hr road trip out East.  It occurred to me that my ambivalence about getting on the road was due to my concern that I was running away – from the small things (chores) & from the big things – people, decisions, a deep sadness that my children would only spend 60% of the rest of their childhood with me.

What I realize as I navigate life is the importance of giving yourself the time and space to think & reflect. To follow through potential logical steps of an action. To think about how I feel when I do or don’t do certain things. To reflect on my behavior and how it sits with me. To really allow myself the time to consider my role and deep feelings around an issue and in Brené Brown’s frame to disentangle and make sure that my thoughts, feelings & behaviors are aligned.

I was always struck by the story that Laurence Olivier used to vomit every night before he went on stage. But he still went on stage every night. There was someone who allowed the fear to be ritually expunged every night & who recognized that once he was on the stage, the thinking, feeling and behaving united.

3 Tips to Reflect & Grow:

  1. Create the Space:
    • Journal: James Pennebaker’s research confirms that writing for 15 mins/day for 4 consecutive days boosts immune function and reduces anxiety and depressive symptoms following a stressful event.
    • Physical exercise: walking, running, allows the mind to be free and to problem-solve.
  2. Brutal Honesty: don’t hide from the uncomfortable stuff, the stuff that makes you feel angry, embarrassed, sad. Look it in the eye. That’s the only way you’ll learn & evolve.
  3. Cultivate Self-Compassion: give yourself permission to grieve and feel, to cry to scream, to withdraw & heal.

Copyright Tamsin Astor, Yoga Brained LLC, 2016.