Better late than never, right?
My time home was very enjoyable, and now I am back in Japan and ready to make some progress in my studies as well as in my coaching business. Previously, I wrote on the importance of self-care, and despite feeling knowledgeable about the subject, my time home and my subsequent time off when I got back really drove home how important this is, especially with regards to making sure you have ample reserves of energy, sleep, patience, and time to deal with unexpected changes that are part of everyday life.
Truth be told, due to some personal issues, I returned to Japan with a less-than-enthusiastic mindset about my coaching business and my future in general. I felt depleted, desperate, and totally opposed to giving my energy towards the betterment of others. Then, I had a week off where I holed myself up in my apartment and slept until I felt like getting up, did meditation and yoga, practiced mindfulness, and burned lots of incense. I initially felt guilty about "wasting" so much time, as sitting at home when I could be traveling or meeting with friends is what I felt I should be doing. (Note: more on those pesky "shoulds" at a later date)
When I stopped feeling guilty about what I thought I should be doing and instead looked at this time off as an opportunity to recharge, something remarkable happened. My first day back at work was fun, I was less irritable, I enjoyed my time at work, and had an overall feeling of well-being. Through this experience, I learned that I need to incorporate time into my schedule where I am not doing mentally-excitable activities like socializing, traveling, studying, etc. This puts me on the fast track to severe mental drain. Hot baths, vegging out in front of the TV, reading, meditating, and just unplugging from the grid for a couple of days can mean all the difference to me.
I am happy to see 2009 go, as it ranks up there with the worst of my years on earth, to date. The big plus that came out of 2009 was making a new group of friends which have had an extraordinarily positive influence on my life and I feel very blessed to have crossed paths with such exciting people. I come into 2010 with a better sense of my personal needs and desires, and a better idea of the balance I need to consciously create in my life. I hope everyone out there has also reflected on the previous year and come out of it with more knowledge about themselves and where they want to go.