Just a few months after launching Ashley Strong Photography (now Ashley Strong Smith) full time, I remember seeing this graph. It was a graph of the life of an entrepreneur. The reality, well that of excitement, then confusion, then I’ve got this, then a whole lot of who the hell am I kidding, what am I doing? The accuracy, well, I’d say 100%.
Over the years of being an entrepreneur, the accompanying emotions run the gamut. For this, it has been so incredibly important to both find a supportive daily ritual alongside check in points. Having a daily ritual, enables me to start the day, centering myself, filling my cup up so I can then spend the rest of the day helping fill up others. This, this in itself a whole separate, very in depth share.
The second aspect, are that of check-in moments.
What does a check in moment mean?
It simply means to check in!
Here’s how I do it…
1. Where am I right now, in my heart, mind and body?
Close your eyes for a few seconds to a few minutes. Begin focusing on your breathing, feeling your stomach expand as you inhale, feeling a full release as you exhale. I even like to put my right hand on my belly, my left hand on my check. After your moments or minutes, open your eyes. Begin in the circle that feels most intuitive. What do I feel right now in my heart? You can write words, phrases, draw pictures, whichever supports you in that very moment. Once you’ve completed, then move onto the follow two circles.
Once the circles are filled out, you then see that there are overlapping points.
Where are my heart and mind connected?
Where is my mind and body connected?
Where is my body and heart connected?
Then, the center point, where do you see commonalities between all three, your heart, mind and body?
Let this be a moment of check-in. Let this very realization bring you back to center. Maybe you notice you’re working too hard, too little. You need more time in nature, taking a yoga class or exercising. Maybe you’re so inspired and need to create space and time to put pen to paper. The answers, they will reveal themselves!
2. I ask myself, “Am I doing the best I can in this given moment?”
A question like this can go a number of ways. Keep it simple and let it just be and yes or no. Expand upon it. Break it down into prominent categories in your life.
Am I doing the best I can WITH MY BUSINESS at this given moment?
Am I doing the best I can WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE at this given moment?
Am I doing the best I can WITH HONORING MYSELF at this given moment?
Am I doing the best I can WITH A WORK/LIFE BALANCE at this given moment?
3. “Does it make me feel HEAVY or LIGHT?”
Oh, did I save the best for last? It really depends on the person and on the day! An old tool, of which I so sincerely wish I remember where this came from. Ask yourself, “Does it make me feel HEAVY or LIGHT?”
Take a deep breath. Again, ask yourself wither something evokes a heaviness or lightness. As a deeper check-in, I really like to expand upon this.
What does it look like?
I create two columns.
The other light.
Instead of just looking at one particular situation, I look at where my life is. What am I doing that makes my feel heavy? What am I doing that makes me feel light? This in turns gives me a more clear insight into where my time is being spent. Because afterall, don’t we want to be doing more of what brings us joy, versus depletes us?
My friend, use one, two, maybe all three of these resources to bring greater light into where you are at this very moment! You'll be surprised how quickly you find your center!