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A Year Ahead of Ya- Top 10 Lessons

Art by Abigail Durkee

So exactly a year ago, it was all just too much. Working as a rep had me busting 13 hour days in crowds of 50,000 coughing, sneezing, sweaty, toxic humans. I'd spend 30+ hours a week as a flag in a branded truck stuck in Bay Area traffic jams day after day. The frequency of hotels, airports, ubers, and trying to maintain a healthy diet on Whole Foods and Thai Restaurants while justifying 3 hour lunch rides as I'd be stuck in traffic until dusk all pushed me to my edge. Oh my family? Yeah. I quit. Had enough. WALKED. But as a 44 year old entrepreneurial mom who just wasted 2 years busting ass for less than half of what I made slinging wine in my 20's: I found myself OVER-Qualified (aka bossy, intimidating, whateve) in my job hunt.

So TODAY it's been exactly one year since I started pedaling in isolation mode. Rather than get into the detailed ups and downs of it, I want to share the Top 10 Lessons I learned that have helped me stay calm and sane through this quarantine. At first, there is this guilty vacationing stage but we can't just live in sweat pants or act like we are exempt so these things have helped me cope and manage my time to stay productive and optimistic no matter how gloomy the horizon:

1. SELF CARE is what you do before you leave the house to go to work, DO IT FOR YOURSELF to feel yourself and to show up authentically. Get dressed in clothes that make you feel confident and strong, take a shower, put on make-up, whatever you would normally do to show up for others, do it for you (and the people on your Quaniteam).

2. Prioritize Exercise. Dance. Do YOGA. Move. Ride a bike. The more attention you give to moving with intention the better you will feel. Maybe it is more then you are used to, maybe less, but be present with it and keep moving to find a balance in your physical being that will empower your mental self to stay strong. Your true self will shine brighter and more optimistic by staying active even if it means slowing down your movements to find the calm, quieter side of strength.

3. Grow Stuff. I attribute 50% of my good ideas to riding my bike and the other half I learn from my garden. There are so many benefits of getting dirt under your nails and working the soil. We can grow food, but also the lessons from the garden are superior on many levels and teach us to connect with nature on a human level. Humans are the gardeners of the Earth and only by paying close attention can we absorb the vast knowledge from Mother Nature. You will notice how much sun you get in your little space, if you plant by the moon you will have more success so suddenly the moon cycle is a powerful tool. Science has even proven that the chemicals in soil when in contact with the skin release serotonin- the happy hormone... so you will be happy just for doing it. Remembering that we are all human and the human experience is universal right now means that as we come together we have the power to heal the Earth. We need to rebuild with intention to create sustainable systems to thrive.

4. Create different spaces for different aspects of your day. Even if it's just a creative shift moving to standing, a different chair, or practicing yoga postures while you do laundry, dishes, or even at the computer. Working from home can easily blur the lines between work and personal time, so finding ways to separate them allows us to take control of managing our time, and operate in a healthier mindset.

5. Let go of fear. It doesn't serve us. Really, we can feel stress, worry, empathy,frustration and even anger and then let them go and move on to more productive energy. We must also let go of Fear as it can be a paralyzing power over us.

6. Keep a schedule. I ride my bike 5 days a week so in order for each ride to fit into my schedule, the plan has to be solid. Carve out self care balance now and you will be thankful in a year, I promise!

7. Set Goals. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. And Yearly. Sometimes the tasks that lead to those yearly goals provide the motivation and courage to set and tackle realistic daily goals.

8. Sleep More.

9. Drink more WATER.

10. Chase Sunshine and sometimes Waterfalls.

Love Each Other.

Words have power to overcome physical distance.

Today we learn how to get to Tomorrow, TOGETHER.

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