I make a pot of soup every week.
It’s one of the small practices which prevents me from grabbing unhealthy options when it’s time to put something on the table.
That makes me a prepper.
To me, a prepper is a person who has taken time, energy, and resources to create a safety net for a potential need.
I know that word may conjure up bunkers filled with canned goods or a lifetime supply of toilet paper, but in the highest form, it’s a joyful practice and stress management tool.
Any act, habit, or practice that has become instilled in our lives can be driven by fear or pulled by desire.
The mindset makes the difference.
In other words, we can prepare for comfort without dread and panic. We can enjoy the practice and its spoils instead of worrying about consequences.
Prepping for the health of it…
I follow lifestyle medicine practices not only because I know it prevents potential disease, but also because I choose to feel good now.
I love to go into my fridge and have that soup ready when I’m running late- that feels good on so many levels!
It’s much better than falling headlong into the traumatic energy of rushing. Rushing can be a real trigger for a downward mental spiral. And instead of hearing the dissapointing echoes of forgetting to prioritize my own needs, I get that solid hummmmm of a happy nervous system!
So I don’t choose pre-prepared healthy food to stave off some future horrible illness that I live in fear of, I choose it for a more stable, connected now.
As I was thinking about this before writing, I realized there are certain motives and methods that determine if I’m prepping out of fear, or enjoying the simple joy of self-care.
Here are 3 TRUTHS that shape what healthy prepping looks like for me:
1. Prevention requires premeditation
I don’t wait for thirst to start digging a well. It is so much easier to do things at an entry level intervention. Making a simple plan ahead of time and acting on it breeds a sense of integrity and completness in my life.
2. Sustainability is rooted in ease
A little extra effort at the onset pays off in a nice flow later. The first few times I try something out requires more time and thought, but before I know it, I’m singing and chopping. The key is in carving out enough time (see Truth #1).
3. Priorities govern action
Choosing the focus of what matters most helps remove overwhelm. I’ve counciled many people who try to take on everything at once and usually it backfires. Sadly, the memory of the failed attempt might keep them from the next try. Better to take small actions for best result.
I allow these concepts to guide my commitments.
Just like meal prep, I only promise to deliver what feels important and there is a feeling of ease within the effort.
When I make a commitment it is to myself first. So when I promised myself years ago that I would be my own advocate (aka self-parenting), I meant it. Part of that is knowing when to say, No. Because when I commit to doing my part in a group or partnership, or I’ve promised to bring something to an event, this concept of joyful preparation makes it possible.
There are many things I’d love to enjoy in the future of my life. I want to see the flowers in Amsterdam, write a book, grow sprouts in my basement, join a choir, to name a few. And in the words of Dr. Pasteur, I do believe chance favors the prepared mind, so I align to those 3 Truths, take small steps toward my desires and keep my heart open and allow the plan to unfold.
All those daily tasks that make up my day-to-day are the building blocks of all my possibilities…
How about you? What are you preparing for?
Could you create more with less stress by prioritizing what matters most? What would that look like for you?
Here’s to Preparing for Ease and Joy!