It’s Not the Big, Impressive Stuff That Changes Your Life — It’s a Solid Foundation

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Last night, I was feeling a little bit like crap. Our house was a total mess from the holiday weekend. Between Passover Seder and Easter, we still had dishes unwashed dishes all across the kitchen. Roscoe’s accoutrements from weekend travel still sitting out. And boxes from recent Amazon purchases not yet brought out.

I was eating some heavy Easter leftovers—desperately trying to scarf down the rest of the sugary treats to not have to face them on my counter all week. And Garrett had an after-work party, so it had only been Roscoe and me going well into the evening.

As I sat amidst the mess, crashing from a sugar high, and idly flipping channels, I knew I had to do something to shake myself from the misery. But it all felt overwhelming and exhausting.

I didn’t have the energy to tackle everything that needed to get done. But I did have the energy to do one thing—anything. So I put on some music and got up and dance. And, while I danced, I cleaned up the living room. And then I felt called to take out the recycling. And suddenly I was making the bed and doing dishes. And smudging the entire house. Then stretching and doing some pushups. Then washing my face and pouring myself some kombucha.

And about three hours later, when Garrett came home, the house was spotless and smelled amazing, I had spent an hour on self-care routines, and I couldn’t have felt happier.

It always amazes me at how much the simple acts make profound differences for me. If I’m ever feeling exhausted or bored or stressed, I first just clean my house. Then I start practicing really good self-care. Then I deal with whatever I’ve been avoiding. And pretty soon, I’m usually feeling entirely differently.

But it doesn’t all happen at once—it can’t happen all at once. When I think about the mess from last night, I still feel overwhelmed. But I did whatever I had access to, to turn things around. That one thing. And then another. And then another.

Like with my business. A few years ago, I could never do all that I do now. But I just did the one thing I could do. Maybe have an accountability buddy or set a strict calendar. And then that enabled me to do something else like hire a lawyer and accountant. And that enabled me to hire an energy healer. And that enabled me to hire a team. And that enabled me to launch VIP days. And that enabled me to launch my affiliate program. And so on and so forth.

Thinking about it all still feels overwhelming, but not when it’s piece by piece. Because simplicity is important. Foundation is important.

When I’m down in the dumps—whether it’s my business or otherwise—I just go back to basics. Is my foundation still intact? Am I sleeping enough? Eating well? Moving my body in ways that feel good? Connecting with inspiring people? Seeing my therapist? Performing any spiritual practices I have? Spending quality time with Garrett? Having creative time for myself? Caught up on laundry and cleaning?

If any of those is a no, I just go there before doing anything else. Because those are the foundational things on which everything else is built. And no matter how much other stuff I do, if the foundation isn’t in place, it’ll all come crashing down eventually.

It’s interesting—the further I deepen into my own radical subjectivity, the simpler my life gets. It’s actually not very hard for me. I just practice self-care that I need and put my head down and do work that I love. I don’t have a newsfeed and hardly pay attention to what others are doing. And I spend most of my time connecting with people who inspire me.

Sometimes things don’t work out, and it’s a bummer. But when I’m feeling so incredible, it doesn’t have to take me down. It’s just a moment for reflection and maybe pivoting. That’s all.

I think I often underestimate the power of simple, foundational practices. Because, when things are going well, you don’t even notice their potency. Maybe because they’re the reason things are going so well. But then you get stuck, and you go back and realize that your house is a mess or you haven’t been stretching or you’ve been eating poorly. And just changing those few things—boom. It’s like magic.

Suddenly I want to call the bank and deal with that issue. Or I want to re-launch that program. Or I want to excitedly invite people into the next round of the Mastermind. It’s no longer a box to check off on my to-do list. I have energy and excitement again.

The older I get, the more non-negotiable I have in my routine. Just things that I can’t imagine not doing every day. Not necessarily big, extravagant things. But things like taking time to write and reflect, or giving myself a few minutes before and after every call to re-center, or getting eight or more hours of sleep each night, or always be seeing a therapist, or have one really inspiring conversation with a friend or colleague each day.

These routines are the foundation on which I build my life. And no matter what happens, my life can’t completely crumble. Because it has a solid foundation.

What practices form the foundation of your life? What do you go back to when you need to re-affirm your foundation?

And, if you don’t have yet, what practices do you want to add to start from a solid foundation?

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