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Paradigm shift: “I get to” instead of “I have to”

Being sick was a huge wake-up call for me in a lot of ways – and though it was not fun while I was in it, it provided me with a lot of inspiration in the aftermath.

While I was sick I could barely get off the couch. I was tired and sleeping anywhere from 10-12 hours a night, going to bed around 7-7:30 pm every night, and taking multiple naps throughout the day in between my zoom meetings and schoolwork that I still had to engage in (my final papers didn’t care if I was sick – and they weren’t going to write themselves!) About a week into being sick, I lost my taste, my appetite, and constantly felt nauseous.

This was when things really started to look bleak.

I had been hoping that maybe in a week I was going to turn a corner and start to feel better, pick my workouts back up, and get back to some sense of normalcy – even if I couldn’t go back to work quite yet. Oh, was I wrong – life had a much different idea for me.

Fast forward a couple of weeks – today is the first day that I feel hunger again, I can *semi* taste things again, and I don’t feel nauseous. I also don’t feel like the weight of the world is closing in on me anymore. 

So what did I learn from this?

Two very important lessons.

1. Rest is more than just getting good sleep and making sure we are meditating.

Rest is being 100% OK with taking a break in your body and your brain AND productivity. Yes – being OK with NOT being productive all of the time.

This was probably one of the most difficult things for me to be OK with – the fact that I seemingly had all the time in the world, for once, and couldn’t get a damn thing done. So. Frustrating. I had to be OK with lying on the couch, sleeping most of the day away, or watching mindless Netflix shows, because that was about all I could handle.

I felt so unbelievably guilty for doing this, and it really took a toll on my self-esteem and my patience with myself and my life.

It felt like my whole world was falling apart – when really, instead of resisting the fact that I needed rest, I just had to feel it. I had to feel the emotions and be OK with not being productive, and OK that everything was being put on hold for a couple of weeks. Sitting with this frustration and insecurities was excruciating, but once I let myself truly feel it and give into the “rest”, my mind and body calmed down and I was able to integrate these emotions and move through it.

2. I remembered a paradigm shift that goes like this: “Instead of saying “I have to ______” say “I get to ______”

This can pertain to anything and everything in your life. Looking back, I realized that before I got sick I had been falling into the “I have to” spiral with most things in my life, including but not limited to: working out, cooking, cleaning, going to work, learning new things, reading, and eating.

Yup, eating is on that list. For those of you that know me, you know I love food – but there was a part of me that was even annoyed that I had to cook and eat everyday to maintain this human meat suit (that’s what I like to call this body because it feels more like this when you are more connected to your “energy” body!).

And then I got sick and I couldn’t do any of those things. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t taste, too tired to cook, too tired to work out, and couldn’t go to work.

All of the things that I complained about doing, I suddenly couldn’t do and didn’t have a choice – and when that happened, then I WANTED to do them. Funny psychology of the human brain, huh?

So as I start to get better and can do all the things again, I’m SO grateful for my health and am changing my paradigm. 

I GET to go to work.

I GET to cook good food.

I GET to TASTE good food!

I GET to nourish my body!

I GET to work out!

I GET to think and learn new things.

I GET to read books.

I GET to have choices.

I GET to go outside and feel the fresh, cold air.

I GET to plan vacations.

I GET to clean my house.

I GET to give my family hugs and tell them I love them.

I GET to LIVE!

This is a short list and it doesn’t stop here. And I can say, this shift has massively changed my mindset and I’m ready to (slowly) jump back in it. I’m cautious, though, not to jump in too fast (like I usually do) and take my time.

Long, sustainable energy and results is where I’d like to be and so this time, I’m starting with “I get to” and starting out slow.

What do you GET to do?

As always, remember,

You are loved <3

KateLyn

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