Outfit: Roots Skinny Cozy Sweatpants, J. Crew fair isle sweater, Roots Cabin Collection socks, Roots Chunky Cabin Toque. Mug: Le Creuset; Tea: Might Leaf Tea Earl Grey; Lips: LAURA MERCIER Creme Smooth lipstick
You know those times when you feel like everything is going to work out just fine? When you laugh easily, don’t take things too seriously, see the best in people, have patience, and have energy? When things just feel right from the inside, despite how things look on the outside? I love feeling that way, and unless you’re an artist that thrives on feeling depressed, you probably do too. But how do we stay in that mindset? And what about all the times we feel the opposite?
Last week I attended the first session of a leadership course and the focus was on Emotional Intelligence. One of the parts that stuck with me was on self awareness and asking yourself the question “Am I above the line or below the line?”. When we’re below the line, we’re closed off, defensive, negative, jealous, and fearful. We’re committed to being right. We find fault and blame. When we’re below the line we have a poverty mentality and believe that there just isn’t enough – opportunities, time, love, whatever. It’s not fun. When we’re above the line, on the other hand, we feel the way I described at the beginning. We’re energetic, optimistic, generous, open, and curious. We’re intentional and committed to learning. When we’re above the line we’re creative, innovative, and playful.
Our brains are actually hardwired to go below the line. But there’s plenty we can do to stay above the line. So the question to ask ourselves is, “Where am I?” Knowing where we are is the first step towards making adjustments. And in other words it’s “check yo self before you wreck yo self”. Word. This question spans both our work life and our personal life. I’m sure you know that sleep, exercise, and eating well are major contributing factors. I feel amazing when I’ve had a night of great sleep. But I think one of the best ways of staying in that above-the-line state of being is to spend time doing things that we enjoy. This sounds really simple but in our busy, over-scheduled and overachieving lives, many of us are not doing things just for the sake of having fun.
What do you enjoy doing? What activities make you happy? A fun exercise to do is to write down a list of 20 things that you enjoy doing. It has to be things that make you happy while you do them, not things that make you happy when you’re done. You can’t list vacuuming because you’re happy with the end result. That’s BS, because it’s a chore. Like, seriously, do this exercise! It could be cooking, watching a show, napping, journaling, playing an instrument, whatever you like doing. As for me, one of my favorite things to do is to change into comfortable clothes, make myself a cup of tea, and read whatever book I’m obsessed with at that moment. I can read for hours. Some of the other activities on my list are: playing tennis, playing soccer with my soccer team, getting a massage, eating breakfast, skiing, going to live sporting events, taking photos, watching my chickens play, having brunch with friends 1 on 1, listening to my girlfriends talk about their romantic relationships, and watching comedy.
Once you’ve written your list, take a look and see how many of those things you did yesterday, how many you have or are planning to do today, and how many you’ve done in the last week. Maybe your week is filled with activities you enjoy. Or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve done something just for yourself and just for fun. If you’ve been below the line, perhaps it’s time to intentionally do more of the things you enjoy every day.
What do you think? Where are you right now? What are some things you enjoy doing? I would love to know!
Lounge Outfit Details:
Sweatpants: Roots Skinny Cozy Sweatpants
Sweater: J. Crew fair isle sweater – on sale
Socks: Roots Cabin Collection (I’m wearing women’s socks here, but I recently bought Roots Kids socks in size 7-9 and they fit perfectly)
Toque: Roots Chunky Cabin Toque
Mug: Le Creuset (see my entire collection of Le Creuset mugs)
Tea: Might Leaf Tea Earl Grey is my favorite
Lips: LAURA MERCIER Creme Smooth lipstick