Hello courageous friends!

Gah! It’s August 1st. AUGUST FIRST. Wow… for me, it never feels easy to allow this to sink in and be ok. Having spent over thirty years in education, August 1st always feels like the beginning of the end. It signals the gentle cascading of time back toward school. I both love and fear this feeling. I love the invitation to the fresh start of the new school year, but I fear the departure from this time of self focus and renewal that I have so desperately longed for and that never quite feels long enough. Letting myself embrace August 1st is a bit of a struggle.

Alas, we arrive here. August 1st.

It is in this place that I found myself this weekend… being reflective of the time I have spent this summer and wanting to ground myself in enjoying the weeks I have left. I brought out my journal and when I opened it, I was somewhat horrified to find that I had not written in a week. WHAT?! I hadn’t realized it, but I had not connected with myself over the past week… well, at least not in the sacred conversation space of my journal. I looked at my previous entry… and then flipped back to see how my conversation had evolved over the summer. As I read, I felt a tinge of frustration and judgment… I hadn’t written as often as I had wanted to and I kept seeing familiar themes and reflections. With all my investment in resting, rejuvenating and healing, had I not grown at all in the past months?

I sighed.

I started thinking about how we grow, how we become stronger versions of ourselves… of the process and the expected outcome. This process feels like it should result in something that is finite.. Like we accomplish it and can check off that box. In so many ways it feels like we should “master” the skill and then move on. “I’ve mastered setting healthy boundaries… CHECK! I’ll never struggle with that skill again”. As I leaned into this idea of mastering and accomplishing… something profound happened that completely shifted my thinking….my stomach growled. Yep… I was hungry. I noticed this cue from my body… got up and made something to eat. I had a need and I was ok with doing something to meet it. Profound.

Well… it actually didn’t hit me immediately. It was only as I sat to nourish my physical hunger, that I realized I wasn’t extending the same frustration to this recurring theme as I had been to the repeating themes I was seeing in my journal. I didn’t cry out in irritation at my hunger and declare… “WHY!? Why am I hungry every single morning? I have fed this need day in and day out and it just keeps coming back. Will I never learn!?” No, I don’t, because I accept that this is a practice my body needs and deserves every day. I don’t question it. I began to wonder what would happen if I extended the same philosophy to my emotional needs as well.

Here’s the thing… we are able to see and embrace taking care of ourselves as an ongoing process in so many ways, yet rarely extend this thinking to how we grow emotionally. Yes, of course, we want to avoid making the same mistakes over and over… but making mistakes is a lifelong proposition. We nourish our bodies by eating three times a day… accepting that this recurring practice is what it takes to stay alive. So how about recognizing that fueling our mind and soul requires the same regular attention? And, just like eating where we might nourish our body with healthy foods some days… and splurge on junk other days… so too do we ebb and flow with our emotional self care practices.

So, your Mindful Mini invitation this week is to recognize that the relationship you are cultivating with yourself is for a lifetime! Nourishing your mind and soul, along with your body, requires regular, ongoing, daily attention. You won’t “arrive”, check the box and be done. Themes will repeat, we will feel progress and regression… and it is all part of the design. Take a deep breath and embrace where you are. Then breathe in again and launch forward. August 1st is just part of the exhale… with the promise of a nourishing inhale to come. Open up your journal, or lean into caring for yourself without expectation of ever being “done”. We are in this for a lifetime. Nourishing YOU lasts forever, and you are so worth it!

Yours in heart,

Kelly Lynn Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

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