Last week, Girls on the Run International hosted a continuing education program for about 18 of our current directors.  These amazing women came to Charlotte, NC to spend two days with the GOTR International staff, to hear about new programs, procedures and operational changes as well as share their experience, strength and hope for the girls and women of the world. 

I am always moved by the passion and deep love these women express for their work with Girls on the Run.  During the last hour of the training, I spent some time with these women…a chance to connect…really connect

I began this time with an invitation to each woman, to first share what she wished for the Girls on the Run program in her community.  The common thread woven in and through every answer shared, was a desire for sustainability…a hope to advance their “arm” of the organization to a space where the program is able to sustain itself…to be financially stable with quality intact and systems in place…such that the organization can thrive with or without their personal presence.

My second question to the group was an invitation to share what they wished for themselves…personally.  “What do you hope to experience within this next year?”

“Personal peace.” 

“The ability to slow down.”

“To be at peace with myself.”

“To recognize that I can’t do it all and to feel a comfort in knowing it’s not only okay, but GOOD for me to delegate.”

The answers continued…every woman…with no exception desired an upcoming year of deep breaths, peace within and a chance to reflect, slow down and feel the slowed cadence of a calm heart.

I, too, yearn for this.  My “default” way of “being” is doing…even if what I’m doing isn’t really accomplishing anything.  I’ve based so much of my past worth in the act of doing that I’ve often missed out on the worth, peace and power I feel by stopping all the doing…and just being.  Time for reflection, sitting within the calm and breathing in the air around me gives me the needed fuel to, when I choose “to do”, be more efficient, focused and available to the business, people and tasks which/who enter my day to day life.

I couldn’t help but draw a line between the two dots presented by question one and two.  Sustainability of our organization…our work…our families…our lives, must first start with our willingness and ability to personally sustain ourselves.  Fueling ourselves with healthy food, a healthy lifestyle, time for quiet/prayer/meditation and  real love from authentic people is necessary, not only to sustain ourselves, but also in creating a healthy, nuturing and sustainable organization.

And as I write, I must admit.  I often put the cart before the horse.  How many times have I said, “I will take some quiet time once I get this item at work done,” or “I’ll take an hour or two for myself once I get the house in order.” 

What ways do you nourish yourself…fuel yourself…sustain yourself?  Are there any things you’ve thought about doing in this realm, but have instead  “put  it off?”  Why do you think we can, at times, be resistant to finding nourish-me-time for ourselves?

Share so that others may gain from your experience.  Let’s see what we come up with!