You do not have to choose. Repeat that. Say it out loud. I DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE. We are all floating around on this giant rock in space, listening to the loudest voices scream at us…either HUSTLE AND MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF, or be still, be introspective, surrender. We are conditioned to believe that a woman with ambitious career goals is not practicing self care and mindfulness. We see the mindful woman as a quite yogi, basking in the stillness of her existence. But ambition and mindfulness can, and should intersect.
We do not have to live in the black and white. We can exist in this beautiful grey area where we are striving to do more than survive financially. We can surrender to our surroundings. We can learn to love ourselves just as we are, while working towards something more. Ambition and mindfulness, working together, is how we thrive.
In your planning
As you plan for your next career move, be thoughtful about your WHY. WHY do you want to reach that next financial goal? WHY do you want to follow a new career path? WHY do you want that promotion or big client?
I cringe when I hear women chugging along, hitting goal after goal without ever stopping to think about why.
I also cringe when I hear women spout off the notion that if you really want to work towards a financial goal for something as silly as a purse, that you are shallow.
Introspection does not have to equal being void of all material pleasures my friends. So practice mediation, and then go enjoy that new Louis. YOLO. Just know WHY.
In your loud moments, and in your stillness
When your schedule is full. When you are felling burnout and overwhelmed. When you are overbooked and your boss is cranky. You can still practice mindfulness. You can still practice compassion for yourself. You can still stop and breath, knowing that this too shall pass. THIS is when that intersection between ambition and mindfulness is essential.
It is completely unrealistic to think that by practicing mindfulness you will live in a constant state of calm. Life happens, and when you have big dreams, life can really dump a load of stress and overwhelm on you from time to time.
But stop. Breath. Know that you are capable. Be mindful about what you are saying YES to in those moments. Say YES to rest. Say YES to sleeping in rather than hitting up that spin class with a friend. Say NO to another family function that drains you of that last bit of emotional energy in your busiest seasons.
And when you are still, when you are feeling calm and aligned with your WHY, know that you are still allowed to dream big. You are still allowed to work hard. You are still allowed to have seasons of hustle.
In your relationships
In seasons of ambitious pursuits, we often lose sight of the connections that matter the most. By practicing mindfulness in those seasons, we can be more aware of our needs and the needs of the people around us.
If you find yourself powering through your pursuits while your family and friends wave as you peel off in a cloud of dust, stop. Breath. Communicate. Practice mindfulness.
Your ambition and mindfulness will co-exist, as long as we take the time to allow them to.
Caitlin Thomas is the Founder of Beyond Boss, a professional photographer, and a mama of two. She is passionate about helping other women make more time for living and enjoying life, without sacrificing their dreams and ambitions.