Kimberly Jonas Kimberly is a Boulder, Colorado-based Reiki master, essential oil therapist, and principle alchemist of BodyMantra. She leads annual soulful living retreats and is a wellness and self care maven. We can all dial up the self care, so I tapped her to share her Five Rules For Life. Here they are, in her own words.
- Focus On What’s Important.
And by this, I mean Important To Your Soul. Yes sure, getting the groceries or returning a phone call might be a priority on any given day. But outside of those day-to-day tasks, what are your highest priorities in life? Spending time with loved ones? Giving to those less fortunate than you? Raising your children with heaps of love and integrity? Living your life honestly and with integrity? Over the years, I’ve learned that if I have my finger on the pulse of these highest-level priorities, everything else in my life tends to fall into place. Even when there are bumps in the road. And the other brilliant thing about naming what is most important to you is that you’ll know when you’ve strayed. When you need to course correct and return home to the priorities that make you whole.
- Remember That Boundaries are Good.
It’s not uncommon to feel like saying “No” is taboo, to be avoided at all costs. We’ve all been in situations where our choice to speak up for ourselves ended in hurt feelings, conflict, abandonment, or other uncomfortable outcomes. But the truth is, when we don’t speak up, we often end up feeling resentful, taken advantage of, misunderstood. And that’s not any better than the oftentimes-wonky feelings that arise when we stand up for ourselves. Which means that we have to practice setting boundaries so that, over time, we have far less fear and doubt about doing it. The key is to speak your boundaries with kindness. And to remember that not everyone will receive them with open arms. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Because ultimately, boundaries are what give you the power to fully be yourself.
- Be Gentle With Yourself.
You are your own worst critic, as the saying goes. When the to-do list is piling up, you make a blunder at work, or your kids imply that you aren’t paying enough attention to them, it’s pretty normal to start beating yourself up. To look to yourself as being the “problem.” I did it unconsciously for years and still have days when I have to tell my inner critic – firmly – to take a back seat. It’s so important to remember that being hard on yourself doesn’t help at all. In fact, it usually creates an ever-increasing spiral of defeating self-talk that will make you falter even more. So much better to take a breath (see Rule #4), remind yourself that you aren’t superhuman (even if you feel like it some days), and that self-kindness is essential to sustaining your energy and happiness.
- Slow Down. Breathe More.
The world is moving faster than ever. We are being bombarded by information left and right every single second, asked to do more, be more, cram more into our brains. We often hurtle through the day, holding our breath and sprinting toward some illusory finish line. And before we know it, we’re exhausted and want to crawl into the nearest hole for a week or two. It’s up to us to pace ourselves, find the tools that will allow us to sustain. We have the power to thwart the burnout and overwhelm with the simple act of slowing down and breathing. No better practice than a 5 minute pause to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and take a series of deep, cleansing breaths. This instantly resets your system and will help you to move through your day from a place of equilibrium rather than frenzy.
There is nothing that a good dance can’t cure. Whether it’s in your living room, a class at the local gym, or hitting the dance floor with friends on a night out, dance has the power to take your mind away from distraction and overwhelm. To dislodge pent-up emotions and bring you back to the important things in your life (see Rule #1). And when I say dance, I don’t mean professional-style-you-better-be-looking-perfect dance. I mean the dance that comes from your SOUL. The dance that happens without any thought and makes you feel free. That moves you from the inside out and makes you laugh and cry with abandon. The one that you can’t contain when that certain song comes on the radio. That kind of dance.
Thanks, Kimberly! Stay tuned for more Five Rules installments.
“Five Rules,” is a series on Rouge18 in which I ask others to share their five rules for life about anything and everything. You can learn a lot about a person by reading which five things govern their actions, no?