Q2 Reflections

My last reflections were from the Dominican Republic. I was proud to stick with my goal of writing at least 1x/quarter, even if it's not 100% thorough.

This month, I'm at home - though I was just visiting family in Ohio for the 4th of July and that was lovely. Great to see my nephew again.

Q2 was busy, and felt more like normal life is back. Attended many concerts and events. One highlight was seeing Hannah Gadsby live in Denver. Really liked our seats this time too! Technically at the start of the quarter I was in the Dominican Republic still, and that was amazing, I still dream about it :) Surfing the waves.

Big highlight was first ever silent meditation retreat - a weekend, magical at that, with warm weather and beautiful views, delicious food, meditating inside and out, 4-6+ hours a day. Felt blissed out about a week after. And after this, I started meditating before bed, too.

Another highlight was meeting a local kitesurfer who told me about a spot to kite in Wyoming - been there a couple of times already, and eager to go again. Beautiful spot, and I never thought I'd kite in this area, nor dreamed of being able to do it at 7500ft altitude. Lemme tell ya, I can feel it's not sea level!

And lastly, this year the garden is HUGE. Tomato plants are already as tall as the 5.5ft fence, plus the spaghetti squash vines are growing super fast. And it seems a better year for garlic, dill, and eggplants too. Lettuce has done really well, too - eating salads since early June, almost daily now in July, after planting 50+ and most of them sprouted.

Revisit resolutions

Here were my topics for the year:

  1. Physical: Move With Ease
  2. Emotional: Embrace What Is
  3. Mental: Part of a Whole
  4. Spiritual: Wholehearted Collaboration

Physical: Move With Ease

I continue to love working with a trainer and am still somewhat in disbelief having gained muscle on my upper body, I can tell! With kiting at 7500ft too, it's been such a joy. And the DR trip showed me that I have more endurance and I didn't feel particularly sore (once the body got used to it - about 4 days in).

I've been enjoying swiming even more too, and that's gotten noticeably easier - I used to take breaks before doing 6 laps (12 back + forth), and now I can just go at 80-90% pace the whole way through.

Celebrations:

  • Consistent workouts. Trainer/program adjustments.
  • Stretches and daily breaks: trampolining, inversion table, hip stretches, short yoga/mobility
  • Swimming 1x/week, loving it even more
  • Finished all the health tests I plan to do for the year
  • Definitely fewer headaches than last year
  • Grounding outside a bit more
  • Dry eyes not as much of an issue, but have used diffuser still. Summer's higher humidity so that's been great.

Improvement:

  • still no kettlebell, but doing that trampoline
  • bloat and gas sometimes
  • take a couple more breaks a day - either make breaks a bit longer (10m+) or more frequent (probably better results)
  • still headaches - I'd say 1x/mo maybe. Mostly seems to happen when I don't take a long enough break on Mondays, and try to power through. Gotta rest the eyes more, they are primarily eye strain related, with neck strain secondary.

I don't have any intention of doing 20m of high intensity cardio per day. My workouts take care of this 3x/week though.

I do 1h of movement most days of the week: MWF for gym and Saturday for the market and shopping (hey, it counts, takes multiple hours!) Tu/Th closer to 30m, but going out or getting a massage balances it out.

Emotional: Embrace What Is

I feel more understanding towards my behavior, e.g. sometimes when I'm really blunt, or frustrated, or angry, or reactive. Consistent meditation practice has helped, of course. I feel even more detachment between self-worth and work. While I still think about things when they don't go as well as I hope, I am able to let go easier, with much less self-judgment. What's perhaps the next challenge is the busyness of all that's going on - that can get me overwhelmed and anxious sometimes.

Celebrations:

  • Still loving the post-it note on my office to reduce stress
  • Empathizing with clients, candidates, and feeling more thankful about all the accomplishments and upsides.
  • Released About/Careers pages on our business site, those efforts working on the values are coming through
  • Manifested a local kitesurfing spot!
  • Working a reduced schedule, staying in 20-30h/week and mostly 20-25h. Great for my health and productivity, I feel motivated to GSD when I sit down. I don't feel as constrained in my schedule, and have been able to enjoy the gym more, and evenings, without feeling like I have a ton to do for days/weeks in a row.
  • Relationship workshop with my partner, hope to continue using the frameworks learned there.

Room for improvement:

  • Still fighting the "One more thing and then I'm done" tendency. But I have added at least one more break-away during the workday.
  • Could encourage and empower our team more

Mental: Part of a Whole

Celebrations:

  • Generally more content. Have created content or followed through on goals.
  • Spent time focusing on bigger picture. Though it was Q3, last week I spent a couple of hours just thinking ahead for the year and business goals.
  • Feels like I'm using my strengths more. Deep focus. Creative work. Leadership - probably the most. And have had the time to find ideas.
  • Hired another employee. This puts us at our goal for the year of 2, exciting!
  • Kicking off other breaks has been working! I have a daily reminder M-W
  • Removing other reminders to reduce clutter in my daily schedule. Helps feel less overwhelmed. Especially ones I don't do.

Room for improvement:

  • There are still days when I sit down for too long trying to finish something.
  • Ask great questions. Give more thought to questions I would ask.
  • (carry-over) Take those 5m breaks every hour. I do take them at least every other hour… but it can be rough if I skip more than one a day.
  • (carry-over) Brainstorm more of what I'm good at and do more of that. Reduce what I'm doing that is not in this area.

My favorite is definitely the deep breathing. It's not the most consistent habit, in that, I'd love to take a deep breath with every sip of liquid, but it does help do it more often and I catch myself holding my breath more.

Spiritual: Wholehearted Collaboration

Oh yeah baby! Dat spiritual. Silent meditation retreat was a bliss, and for sure will be a highlight of the year. On top of that, family time - spending time with my nephew, and soon with another nephew!

Feeling more spacious, though in some ways less "inspired" - meaning, I don't feel those explosive creative times as much, and I think in part that's because my mind is running overloaded much less frequently. If anything I feel more intentional focus and effortlessness. Have also focused on decisions at a higher level more easily, and the spiritual side there is… knowing when something truly matters.

Room for improvement

  • Invert a bit more
  • Ground outside more
  • Let go of busywork
  • More home improvements

Celebrations:

  • Reached 700 consecutive days of meditation, though I discovered the way Headspace tracks them it can double count on a single day. Still, I've been meditating consistently for 2 years now.
  • Second daily meditation session more than half the days now. Inversions maybe 2-3x/week.
  • Feeling more contentment and spaciousness. Joy for summer.
  • Discovering a kite spot has been a big passion - adds to enjoying where I live, since it's so beautiful.
  • Garden is thriving! Having full garden salads, bursting with flavor and freshness, and that's not even including tomatoes yet.
  • Fence fixed up, handled a flooding incident with the rental home, without stressing hard about it.
  • Continuing to focus on compounding decisions and systems.
  • Continuing to share feedback and collaborate with others. Meet new people that may be able to collaborate eventually.

Present and future

I'd like to come back to this post a bit, later this week, and reflect more on Q1/Q2 and what's coming for Q3. No promises though.

For now, I've been grateful for many things that have noticeably added to the quality of my life this quarter. Better sleep, feel my body stronger and more spacious, fewer headaches, more restful breaks, reduced work hours, more walks and time outside, more awareness and contentment, more appreciation of my partner and others around me.

What's been most stressful in Q2? I think, mainly, when work got busy or a hire didn't perform to expectations. Handled that with more ease this time, but it can still be rough. Second guessing business decisions or how risky it can be to bring on employees and grant ownership - it's a tough one, since this is really the first time doing it with a successful business. Outside work, some personal and relationship uneasiness at times into anxiety. Mostly correlated with being busy or feeling disconnected or closed off.

Looking ahead, I'm excited about an upcoming trip to Europe, for my best friend's wedding and seeing new countries. I hope to kite at least a day, but it's a bit tricky without bringing my own gear, which I don't want to do. Food's gonna be awesome though, and seeing friends too. I'm also excited to spend a bit more time with family, something I wish I did more of. I'm also excited to enjoy the summer, maybe kite local more, swim more, spend time with friends, maybe make new friends. And on the business side, finding longer term perspective and stability, and improving our processes - sales, website content, and application process. The market downturns could be a blessing here to give us more time and motivation to focus on this.

2022 feels healthy and nourishing, more spacious, more effortless. Entering the 2nd half of the year with most of my hopes and goals done, the challenging ones are left, in a way - and what makes them challenging is most often the difficulty of breaking habits. I can do it, with ease and space to be aware!

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