“ Finding Ourselves and Myself “
I remember the things I used to love when I was younger such as being in the water for hours and not caring what I had to do next. I also loved painting and being behind the ceramic’s wheel when I was forming something and usually not knowing what I was going to make. It is about the process than the outcome that feels right in those moments. As an adult it becomes more about how to get the outcome we want rather than the process itself, and that is where we lose ourselves as we are trying to reach goals since we want instant gratification.
How do we take a step back and enjoy the process? I think this is more of a question of my process since for years I’ve worked everyday to build my business and people ask me what my 5 year plan is or how I did my projection with my business model. I tell them I didn’t calculate the numbers until Nora, my Program Director at KFS School (one year ago) and I don’t’ have a 5 year plan. The truth is I’ve never taken a business class in my life. So you can see I’ve made a lot of mistakes and some costly ones to say the least, but one thing I do know is that I’m always going to say “Yes” if a family needs something for their child. So with this I’ve gone in many different directions to help fill a need.
During this time I’ve lost myself, since I was looking at how to grow a business that is going in different directions and this is why I also have 3 companies, which is a handful. I was working crazy hours since I had one goal, which I wasn’t too clear on the goal besides helping as many children as possible, but I knew I would figure it out and 8 years later I did, I founded a school, KFS School. But in the process I wasn’t doing what feeds my soul, and what feeds my soul is painting something on a canvas and not knowing what you will make until it is over and only you can feel when the painting is finished. Also, the biggest thing that feeds my soul is dancing. To be able to listen to the beats of the music and move your body to where you feel you are the only person in the room is one of the most healing things that I can do for myself. As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost this connection that is playful, constantly laughing and not thinking about how to help a family that is in need during my off hours. I was starting to not have any off hours with my life. The balance with work and personal life is the hardest thing for me to find but I’m trying!
Since I’ve opened KFS School I thought my workload would double and it didn’t at all. It actually did the opposite for me since I’m not driving from one location to another and there are no kids at the school after 4 PM. We just had 12 days off and the Friday before the break I had a mini meltdown since I didn’t know what to do with myself for the next 12 days without work. Most people would love to have 12 days off and I was beyond stressed with all of the free time I would have. That weekend I made a point to do one thing for myself such as getting my car washed, getting my hair done along with going to wine country for the day, and the best one was making an art area in my home. This was one of the best 12 days off I could have had since I was taking care of myself when I’m usually the last one thinking of what I want since I’m taking care of so many families.
This made me realize how important it is to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. As an educator and/or parent you need to take the time out from life so you can do things to feed your soul, and you are the only person who knows what will feed your soul. What you don’t want is feeling resentful for the decisions you made in your life since you feel you had to sacrifice something for someone or something else. This was starting to happen to me and I couldn’t let that happen. So I decided to take care of what I wanted and what feeds my soul. I gave myself permission to let myself do the things I loved to do and gave me happiness and the feelings came right back when I was doing them. I also connected with old friends that I know I need to do more of and I will.
Things to ask yourself since you might want to do them again:
- What feeds your soul?
- What did you do as a child that made you happy?
- What would you like to do to connect to your creative side?
- When can you schedule 10 minutes to do something for yourself?
- Can you say “No” to things that don’t work for you?
Give yourself permission to take a break from life and put your phone away and do something that you love to do that makes you laugh. Connect to the younger version of you who is childlike. What is funny is this is what I’ve been telling parents to do and I missed it with myself and I know this will be a process but I’m happy I started it and I know it won’t be easy.
Vanessa Kahlon, MA
Parenting with Vanessa Kahlon
Founder & Executive Director of KFS School.
Kahlon Family Services,